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Re-published simultaneously with the London edition, with the 

safiction of the Author. 







Sjjis 9f Jnme is )tt))tcsttl^, 





Many unavoidable delays have prevented the earlier pub- 
lication of this volume. I can no longer appeal, as in 
the preface of my former work, to the indulgence of my 
readers on the score of complete literary inexperience; 
but I can express heartfelt gratitude for the kind and 
generous reception given, both by the press and the public, 
to my first labors. I will merely add, that the following 
pages were written at different periods, and amidst nu- 
merous interruptions but little favorable to literary occu- 
pations. This must be my apology, to a certain extent, 
for the many defects they contain. 

Since the publication of my first work on the discoveries 
at Nineveh much progress has been made in deciphering 
the cuneiform character, and the contents of many highly 
interesting and important inscriptions have been given to 
the public. For these additions to our knowledge we are 
mainly indebted to the sagacity and learning of two 
En;ilish scholars, Col. Kawlinson and the Rev. Dr. Hincks. 
In making use of the results of their researches, I have not 
c>mitted to own the sources from which my information 
has \)iii.n derived. I trust, also, that I have in no in- 
stance availed myself of the labors of other writers, or of 
the help of friends, without due acknowledgments. 1 have 
endeavored to assign to every one his proper share in 
the discoveries recorded in these pages. 

A 4 

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n\- -■ '• 

PBSFAdE. ix 

vdumei which will form a second series of the Monuments 
of Nineveh, and will be published at the same time as the 
present work. • 

I trust it may not be inferred from any remark I 
have been induced to make in the following pages, that 
I have any grounds of personal complaint against the 
Trustees of the British Museum. From them I have ex- 
perienced uniform courtesy and kindness, which I take 
this opportunity of acknowledging with gratitude ; but I 
cannot at the same time forbear expressing a wish, felt in 
common with myself by many who have the advancement 
of nati<mal education, knowledge, and taste sincerdy at 
heart, that that great establishment, so eminently calcu- 
lated to promote this important end, should be speedily 
l^ced upon a new and more efficient basis. 

To Mr. Thomas ElUs, who has added so much to the 
value of my work by his translations of inscriptions on 
Babylonian bowls, now for the first time, through his sa- 
;^ity, deciphered ; to those who have assisted me in my 
labors, and especially to my friend and companion, Mr. 
Ilormuzd Kassam, to the Rev. Dr. Hincks, to the Rev. 
S. C. Malan, who has kindly allowed me the use of his 
masterly sketches, to Mr. Fergusson, Mr. Scharf, and to 
Mr. Hawkins, Mr. Birch, Mr. Vaux, and the other officers 
of the British Museum, I beg to express my grateful thanks 
and acknowledgments. 

Ixmdoo, Jftnuarj, 185.H. 



The TrotlMt of the Britiib Moieani mume Exctvationt at NincTeh. — De- 
partnie from Constaotinople. — Deieription of our Party. — Cawal Yuiof. 

— RiOidi ffom TrMsond to Eneroom. — Description of the Country* — 
Vanahan and Annenian Churches. — Erxeroom. — Reshid Pasha. — The 
Dndyook Tribes. — Shahan B^. — Turkish Reform. — Journey through 
Armenia. -» An Armenian Bishop. — The Lakes of Shailu and Nasik. — 
The Lake of Wan ..... Page l 


The Lake of Wan. — Akhkt. — Tatar Tombs. «- Ancient Remains. — A 
I>erTidi. — A Friend. — The Mudir. — Annenian Remains. — An Ar- 
menian Conrent and Bishop. — Journey to Bitlis. — Nimroud Dagh. — 
Bitlis. — Journey to Kherzan. — Yezidi Village - - - ^3 


Reception by the Yezidis. — Village of Guzelder. — Triumphal March to 
Red wan. — Red wan. ~~ Armenian Church. — Mirza Agha. — The Meiek 
Taoua, or Brazen Bird. — TiUeh. — Valley of the Tigris. — Bas-reliefs. 

— Journey to Dereboun — to Semil. — Abde Agha. — Journey to Mosul. 

— The Yezidi Chiefs. — Arrival at Mosul. — Xenophon's March from the 
Zab to the BUck Sea - - - - - - 42 


State of the Excavations on my Return to MosuL — Discoveries at Kou- 
yunjik. — Tunnels in the Mound. — Bas-reliefs representing Assyrian 

Cooqucsu A Well. — Siege of a City. — Nature of Sculptures at Kou- 

yuigik. — Arrangements for Renewal of Excavations. — Description of 
Mound. — Kiamil Pasha. — Visit to Sheikh Adi. — Yezidi Ceremonies.— 
Sheikh Jindi. — Yezidi Meeting. — Dress of the Women. — Bavian. — 
Ceremony of the KaidL — Sacred Poem of the Yezidi. — Their Doctrines. 
— ' Jcnaiyah. — Return to Mosul - - -66 



Renewal of Excavations at Kouyunjik. — First Visit to Nimroud. — State of 
Ruins. — Renew Excavations in MouncL — The Abou Salman Arabs. — 
Visit of Colonel Rawlinson. — Latiff Agha. — Mr. H. Rassam. — The 
Jebour Workmen at Kouyunjik. — Discoveries at Kouyunjik. — Sculp- 
tures representing moving of great Stones and Winged Bulls. — Methods 
adopted. — Similar Subject on Egyptian Monument. — Epigraphs on 
Bas-reliefs of moving Bulls. — Sculptures representing Invasion of Moun- 
tainous Country, and Sack of City. — Discovery of Gateway. — Excavation 
in high Conical Mound at Nimroud. — Discovery of Wall of Stone. — 
Feast to the Yezidis at Mosul. — Visit to Khorsabad. — Discovery of 
Slab. — State of the Ruins. — Futhliyah. — Baazani. — Baasheikhah 

Page 96 


Discovery of Grand Entrance to the Palace of Kouyunjik — of the Name of 
Sennacherib in the Inscriptions. — The Records of that King in the In- 
scriptions on the Bulls. — An abridged Translation of them. — Name of 
Hezekiah. — Account of Sennacherib's Wars with the Jews. — Dr. Hincks 
and Col. Rawlinson. — The Names of Sargon and Shalmaneser. — Dis- 
covery of Sculptures at Kouyunjik, representing tlie Siege of Lachish. — 
Description of the Sculptures. — Discovery of Clay Seals — of Signets of 
Egyptian and Assyrian Kings. — Cartouche of Sabaco. — Name of Essar- 
haddon. — Confirmation of Historical Records of the Bible. — Royal 
Cylinder of Sennacherib - - - - - 135 


Road opened for Removal of Winged Lions. — Discovery of Vaulted Drain 
— of other Arches — of Painted Bricks. — Attack of the Tai on the 
Village of Nimroud. — Visit to the Howar. — Description of the Encamp- 
ment of the Tai. — The Plain of Shomamok. — Sheikh Faras. — Wali 
Bey. — Return to Nimroud - - - - - l62 


Contents of newly -discovered Chamber. — A Well. — Large Copper Cal- 
drons. — Bells, Rings, and other Objects in Metal. — Tripods. — Caldrons 
and large Vessels. — Bronze Bowls^ Cups, and Dishes. — Description of 
the £mbossin{2;s upon them. — Arms and Armour. — Shields. — Iron In- 
struments. — Ivory Remains. — Bronze Cubes inlaid with Gold. — Glass 
Bowls. — Lens. — The Royal Throne - - - . ij(j 


Visit to the Winged Lions by Night. — The Bitumen Springs. — Removal 
of the Winged Lions to the River. — Floods at Nimroud — Loss and 


ReooTery of Lion. — Yezidi Marriage Festival. — Baazani. — Visit to 
BftTian. — Site of the Ekttle of Arbela. — Description of Rock-Sculptures. 
— Inscriptions. — The Shabbaks ... Page 201 


Visit to Kslsh Sherghat prevented. — Visit to Shomamok. — Keshaf. — 
The Ho war. — A Bedouin. — His Mission. — Descent of Arab Horses. — 
Their Pedigree. — Ruins of Mokhamour. — The Mound of the Kasr. — 
Plsin of Shomsmok. — The Gla or Kalah. — Xenophon and the Ten 
Thousand. — A Wolf. — Return to Nimroud and Mosul. — Discoveries at 
Kouyunjik. — Description of the Bas-reliefs - - - 2 1 8 


Prrpsrstions for a Journey to the Khabour. — Sculptures discovered there. 

— Sheikh Suttum. — His Rediff. — Departure from Mosul. — First En- 
cmmproent. — Abou Khameera. — A Storm. — Tel Erroah. — A Stranger. 

— Tel Jemsl. — The Chief of Tel Afer. — A Sunset in the Desert. — A 
Jeboor Encampment. — The Belled Sinjar. — The Sinjar Hill. — Mir- 
kan. — Bukra. — The Dress of the Yezidis. — The Shomal. — Ossofa. — 
Aldina. — Return to the Belled. — A Snake-Charmer. — Journey con- 
tinaed in the Desert — Rishwan. — Encampment of the Boraij. — Dress 
of Arab Women. — Rathaiyah. — Hawking. — A Deputation from the 
Yezidis. — Arab Encampments. — The Khabour. — Mohammed Emin. — 
Arrival at Arban ----.- 234 


Arhan. — Our Encampment. — Suttum and Mohammed Emin. — Winged 
Bulls discovered. — Excavations commenced. — Their Results. — Dis- 
covery of Small Objects — of Second Pair of Winged Bulls — of Lion 

— of ( hinese Bottle — of Vase — of Egyptian Scarabs — of Tombs. — 
The Scene of the Captivity ... - - 272 


H«**idoncc at Arban. — Mohamme<l Emin's Tent. — The Apaydat. — Our 
Tfiit*. — Bread- baking. — Food of the Bedouins. — Thin Bread. — The 
Prwluce of their Flocks. — DiseascR amongst them. — Their Remedies. — 
The IMoul or Drometlary. — Be<louin Warfare. — Suttum's First Wife. 

— A Storm. — Turtles. — Lions. — A Bedouin Robber. — Beavers. — 
Rule to I^jmiyaL — .\ plundering Expedition. — Loss of a Hawk. — 
Ruins of Shemshani. — A Tradition. — Jebours strike their Tents. — 
Return to Arban. — Visit to Moghamis ... - 28. 


Ijtrz^e Arban. — The Banks of the Khabour. — Artificial Mounds. — Mij- 
well. — The Cadi of the Bedouins. — The Thar or Bloo*UHc\eu^c. — 


Caution of Arabs. — A natural Cavern. — An extinct Volcano. — The 
Confluents of the Khabour. — Bedouin Marks. — Suleiman Agha. — En- 
campment at Um-Jerjeh. — The Turkish Irregular Cavalry. — Mound of 
Mijdel. — Ruins on the Khabour. — Mohammed Emin leaves us. — Visit 
to Kurdish Tents and Harem. — The Milli Kurds. — The Family of 
Rishwan. — Arab Love-making. — The Dakheel. — Bedouin Poets and 
Poetry. — Turkish Cavalry Horses - - - - Page 303 


Departure from the Khabour. — Arab Sagacity. — The Hoi. — The Lake 
of Khatouniyah. — Return of Suttum. — Encampment of the Shammar. 
— Arab Horses — their Breeds — their Value — their Speed. — Sheikh Ferhan. 
— Yezidi Villages. — Falcons. — An Alarm. — Abou Maria. — Eski Mosul. 

— Arrival at Mosul. — Return of Suttum to the Desert - - 322 


Discoveries at Kouyunjik. — Procession of Figures bearing Fruit and Game. 

— Locusts. — Led Horses. — An Assjrrian Campaign. — Dagon, or the 
Fish-God. — The Chambers of Records. — Inscribed Clay Tablets. — 
Return to Nimroud. — Effects of the Flood. — Discoveries. — Small Temple 
under high Mound. — The Evil Spirit. — Fish-God. — Fine Bas-relief 
of the King. — Extracts from the Inscription. — Great inscribed Monolith. 

— Extracts from the Inscription. — Cedar Beams. — Small Objects. — 

— Second Temple. — Marble Figure and other Objects - - 337 


The Summer. — Encampment at KouyfUnjik. — Visitors. — Mode of Life. — 
Departure for the Mountains. — Akra. — Rock-Tablets at Gunduk. — Dis- 
trict of Zibari. — Namet Agha. — District of Shirwan — of Baradost — 
of Gherdi — of Shemdina. — Mousa Bey. — Nestorian Bishop. — Con- 
vent of Mar Hananisho. — District and Plain of Ghaour. — Dizza. — An 
Albanian Friend. — Bash-Kalah. — Izzet Pasha. — A Jewish Encamp- 
ment. ^ — High Mountain Pass. — Mahmoudiyah. — First View of Wan 



Mehemet Pasha. — Description of Wan. — Its History. — Improvement in 
its Condition. — The Armenian Bishop. — The Cuneiform Inscriptions. — 
The Caves of Khorkhor. — The Meher Kapousi. — A Tradition. — Ob- 
servations on the Inscriptions. — Table of Kings mentioned in them. — The 
Bairam. — An AmenCTn School. — The American Missions. — Protestant 
Movement in Turkey. — Amikh. — The Convent of Yedi Klissia 389 


Leave Wan. — The Armenian Patriarch. — The Island of Akhtamar. — An 
Armenian Church. «-> History of the Convent. — Pass into Mukus. — The 


District of Mukus — of Shattak — of Nourdooz. — A Nestorian Village. — 
Encampments. — Mount Ararat. — Mar Shamoun. — Julamerik. — Valley 
of Diz. — Pass into Jelu. — Nestorian District of Jelu. — An ancient 
Church. — The Bishop. — District of Baz — of Tkhoma. — Ketum to 
Mosul ------ . Page 411 


Discoveries at Kouyunjik during the Summer. — Description of the Sculp- 
tures. — Capture of Cities on a great River. — Pomp of Assyrian King. — 
Passage of a River. — Alabaster Pavement. — Conquest of Tribes inhabit, 
ing a Marsh. — Their Wealth. — Chambers with Sculptures belonging to 
a new King. — Description of the Sculptures. — Conquest of the People 
of Susiana. — Portrait of the King. — His Guards and Attendants. — 
The City of Shushan. — Captive Prince. — Musicians. — Captives put to 
the Torture. — Artistic Character of the Sculptures. — An Inclined Pas- 
sage. — Two small Chambers. — Colossal Figures. — More Sculptures 



Preparations for leaving Nineveh. ~~ Departure for Babylon. — The Awai. — 
Descent of the River. — Tekrit. — The State of the Rivers of Mesopo- 
tamia. — Commerce upon them. — Turkish Roads. — The Plain of Dura. 

— The Naharwan. — Samarrah. — Kadesia. — Palm Groves. — Kathimain. 

— Approach to Baghdad. — The City. — Arrival. — Dr. Ross. — A British 
Steamer. — Modern Baghdad. — Tel Mohammed. — Departure for Ba- 
bylon. — A Persian Prince. — Abde Pasha's Camp. — Eastern Falconry. — 
Hawking the Gazelle. — Approach to Babylon. — The Ruins. — Arrival 
at Hillah ...-..- 464. 


The Chiefs of Hillah. — Present of Lions. — The Son of the Governor. — 
Description of the Town. — Zaid. — The Ruins of Babylon. — Changes 
in the Course of the Euphrates. — The Walls. — V' isit to the Birs Nim- 
roud. — Description of the Ruin. — View from it. — Excavations and Dis- 
coveries in the Mound of Babel. — In the Mujelibe or Kasr. — The Tree 
Athel^. — Excavations in the Ruin of Amran. — Bowls, with Inscriptions 
in Hebrew and Syriac Characters. — Translations of the Inscriptions. — 
The Jews of Babylonia ------ 486 


Slate of the Ruins of Babylon. — Cause of the Disappearance of Buildings. — 
Nature of original Edifices. — Babylonian Bricks. — The History of 
Babylon. — Its Fall. — Its remarkable Position. — Commerce. — Canals 
and Roads. — Skill of Babylonians in the Arts. — Engraved Gems. — Cor- 
ruption of Manners, and consequent Fall of the City. — The Mecca Pil- 
grimage. — Sheikh Ibn Reshid. — The Gebel Shammar. — Tribes of 
Soatbem Mesopotamia. — The Mounds of El Hymer — of Anana - 527 



Ruins in Southern Mesopotamia. — Departure from Hillah. — Sand-Hills. 

— Villages in the Jezireh. — Sheikh Karboul. — Ruins. — First View 
of Niffer. — The Marshes. — Arah Boats. — Arrive at Souk-el- A faij. 

— Sheikh Agah. — Town of the Afaij. — Description of the Ruins of 
Niffer. — Excavations in the Mounds. — Discovery of Coffins — of va- 
rious Relics. — Mr. Loftus' Discoveries at Wurka. — The Arah Tribes. 

— Wild Beasta. — Lions. — Customs of the Afaij. — Leave the Marshes. 

— Return to Baghdad. — A Mirage - - - Page 544 


Preparations for Departure. — Sahiman. — Plunder of his Camels. — Leave 
Baghdad. — Journey through Mesopotamia. — Early Arah Remains. — , 
The Median Wall. — Tekrit. — Horses stolen. — Instances of Bedouin 
Honesty. — Excavations at Kalah Sherghat. — Reach Mosul. — Dis- 
coveries during Absence. — New Chambers at Kouyui^jik. — Description 
of Bas-reliefs. — Extent of the Ruins explored. — Bases of Pillars. — 
Small Objects. — Roman Coins struck at Nineveh. — Hoard of Denarii. — 
Greek Relics. — Absence of Assjrrian Tombs. — Fragment with Egyptian 
Characters. — Assyrian Relics. — Remains beneath the Tomb of Jonah. — 

— Discoveries at Shereef- Khan — at Nimroud. — Names of new Kings. 

— Assyrian Weights. — Engraved Cylinders - - - 574 


Results of the Discoveries to Chronology and History. — Names of Assyrian 
Kings in the Inscriptions. — A Date fixed. — The Name of Jehu. — The 
Obelisk King. — The earlier Kings. — Sardanapalus. — His Successors. — 
Pul, or Tiglath-Pileser. — Sargon. — Sennacherib. — Essarhaddon. — The 
last Assyrian Kings. — Tables of proper Names in the Cuneiform Cha- 
racter. — Antiquity of Nineveh — Of the Name of Assyria. — Illustrations 
of Scripture. — State of Judsa and Assyria compared. — Political Con- 
dition of the Empire. — Assyrian Colonies. — Prosjterity of the Country. 

— Religion. — Extent of Nineveh. — Assyrian Architecture — Com- 
pared with Jewish. — Palace of Kouyunjik restored. — Platform at 
Nimroud restored. — The Assyrian fortified Inclosures. — Description of 
Kouyunjik. — Conclusion - - - - 6II 


Ruined Mosque and Minarets (Erzeroom). In page 1 

Ancient Armenian Church at Varzahan. In page 7 

Threshing the Com in Armenia. In page 18 

Section of \^Tieel of Armenian Cart, In page 21 

Armenian Plough^ near Akhlat. In page 22 

Early Mussulman Tomb at Akhlat. In page 23 

Turbeh, or Tomb^ of Sultan Baiandour^ at Akhlat. Facing page 24 

Yezidi Women. In page 41 

Kurdish Women at a Spring. In page 42 

The Melek Taous^ or Copper Bird of the Yezidis. In page 48 

Sculptured Tablet at Fynyk. In page 54 

Rock-Sculptures near Jezireh, In page 55 

Mosul from the North. In page 65 

Subterranean Excavations at Kouyunjik. In page 66 

Castle near a River or Marsh (Kouyunjik). In page 68 

Valley and Tomb of Sheikh Adi. Facing page 81 

Sheikh Nasr^ High Priest of the Yezidis. In page 82 

Yezidi Dance at Sheikh Adi. Facing page 86 

Yezidi Cawals. In ])age 95 

Mound of Niroroud. In page 96 
Head-dress of Captives employed by Assyrians in moving Bull (Kouyunjik). 

In page 105 
Workmen carrying Ropes, Saws^ and other Implements for moving Bull 

(Kouyunjik). In page 108 

Slag (Kouyunjik). In page 108 

Wild Sow and Young, amongst Reeds (Kouyunjik). In page 109 
King superintending Removal of Colossal Bull (Kouyunjik). Facing page 1 10 

Village with conical Roofs, near Aleppo. In page 112 
Assyrians placing a human-headed Bull (partly restored from a Bas-relief at 

Kouyunjik). Facing page 1 12 

Plan of Northern Entrance to Inclosure of Kouyunjik. In page 122 

Tunnel along Eastern Basement Wall (Nimroud). Facing page 125 

Tunnel along Western Basement Wall (Nimroud). Facing page 125 

M'estem Face of Basement of Tower (Nimroud). Facing page 12f) 

Northern Face of Basement of Tower (Nimroud). Facing page \26 

Elevation of Stylobate of Temple. In page lli\ 

Stxtion of Stylobate of Temple. In page 131 
Carl with Ropes, and Workmen carrying Saws, Picks, and SliovoN, for 

mu%ing Colossal Bull (Kouyunjik). In page 154 




Bulls with historical Inscriptions of Sennacherib (Kouyunjik). In page 
Remains of Grand Entrance of the Palace of Sennacherib (Kouyunjik). 

Facing page 

Existing Remains at Khorsabad, showing original State of Grand Entrance at 
Kouyunjik. Facing page 136 

Sennacherib on his Throne before Lachish. In page 1 50 

Jewish Captives from Lachish (Kouyunjik). In page ] 52 

Impression of a Seal on Clay. In page 154 

Back of the same Seal^ showing the Marks of the String and the Fingers. 

In page 154 
Assyrian Seals. In page 155 

Phoenician Seals. In page 155 

Egyptian Seals. In page 156 

Impressions of the Signets of the Kings of Assyria and Egypt. (Original 
Size.) In page 156 

Part of Cartouche of Sabaco^ enlarged from the Impression of his Signet. 

In page 156 
Royal Cylinder of Sennacherib. In page l60 

Piece of Clay with Impressions of Seals. In page l6l 

Vaulted Drain beneath the North-west Palace atNimroud. In page l62 

Bronze Socket of the Palace Gate (Nimroud). In page 16*3 

Vaulted Drain beneath South-east Palace (Nimroud). In page l64 

Perfect Arch beneath South-east Edifice (Nimroud). In page l65 

Arab Tent In page 175 

Excavated Chamber in which the Bronzes were discovered (Nimroud). 

In page 176 
Bronze Bells found in a Caldron (Nimroud). In page 177 

Horse Trappings from a Bas-relief at Kouyunjik, showing probable Use of 
Ivory Studs and Metal Rosettes. In page 178 

Feet of Tripods in Bronze and Iron. In page 178 

Bronze Ornaments. Facing page 178 

Bronze Object. Facing page 178 

Bronze Hock. Facing page 178 

Ivory and Mother of Pearl Studs (Nimroud). Facing page 178 

Feet of Tripods in Bronze and Iron. Facing page 178 

Bronze Vessels^ taken from the Interior of a Caldron. Facing page 1 80 

Bronze Vessel taken from the Interior of a Caldron. Facing page 180 

Bronze Head of a Mace. Facing page 1 80 

Bronze Handle of a Dish or Vase. Facing page 180 

Bronze Wine Strainer. Facing page 180 

Bronze Dish, from Nimroud. In page 183 

Bronze Dish, from Nimroud. In page 184 

Handles of Bronze Dishes, from Nimroud. In page 185 

Bronze Cup, 6jin. diameter, and I4 in. deep. In page 186 

Engraved Scarab in Centre of same Cup. In page 1 86 

Embossed Figures on the Bronze Pedestal of a Figure from Polledrara, in the 
British Museum. In page 1 89 

Embossed Figure on the Bronze Pedestal of a Figure from Polledrara. 

In page 1 89 
Bronze Pedestal of Figure from Polledrara. In page 190 

Bronze Cup, from Nimroud. In page I90 



Bronze Shields, from Nimroud. In page 193 

An Iron Pick, from Nimroud. In page 194< 

Half of a double-handled Saw, from Nimroud.* In page I95 

Part of Ivory Sceptre. In page I95 

Bronse Cubes inlaid with Gold. (Original Size.) In page I96 

Glass and Alabaster Vases bearing the Name of Sargon, from Nimroud. 

In page I97 

Fragments of Bronze Ornaments of the Throne (Nimroud). In page I98 

Bronse Bull's Head from Throne. In page I99 

Bronze Head, part of Throne, showing bitumen inside. In page 199 

Bronze Binding of Joints of Throne. In page I99 

Bronze Casing, from the Throne (Nimroud). In page 200 

A Group of Yezidis. In page 201 

Rock.Sculpture (Bavian). In page 210 

Sacred Symbols or Royal Tablets (Bavian). In page 211 

Fallen Rock-Sculptures (Bavian). In page 214 

Assyrian Fountain (Bavian). In page 215 

Hussein Bey, the Chief of the Yezidis, and his Brother. In page 217 

The Author's House at Nimroud. In page 218 

A Captive (of the Tokkari ?) Kouyunjik. In page 230 
Bas-relief from Kouyunjik, representing a fortified City, a River with a Boat 

and Raft, and a Canal. In page 231 
Baa-relief representing a River, and Gardens watered by Canals (Kouyunjik) 

In page 232 
A wad. Sheikh of the Jehesh. In page 233 
Our first Encampment in the Desert. In page 234 
Sheikh Suttum. In page 239 
Roman Coin of Gordian and Tranquillina, struck at Singara. (British Mu- 
seum.) In page 250 
Interior of a Vezidi House at Bukra, in the Sinjar. In page 252 
Arab Nose Ring and Bracelet of Silver. In page 262 
Suttura, with his Wife, on his Dromedary. In page 271 
Sheikh Mohammed £min. In page 272 
Front View of Winged Bull at Arban. In page 276* 
Lion discovered at Arban. In page 278 
Bas-relief discovered at Arban. In page 279 
Chinese Bottle discovered at Arban. In page 279 
Figure in Pottery from Mosul In page 280 
Egyptian Scarab from Arban. In page 280 
Scarabs discovered at Arban. In page 281 
Scarabs discovered at Arban. In page 282 
Winged Bull discovered at Arban. In page 284 
Arab Women grinding Corn with a Ilandmill, rolling out the Dough, and 
baking the Bread. In page 285 
Saildling a Deloul, or Dromedary. In page 302 
Kunlish Women. In page 303 
The Tent of the Milli Chief. In page 321 
Volcanic Cone of Koukab. In page 322 
Arab Camels. In page 336 
An Entrmnce to the Great Hall of the North-west Palace (Nimroud). 

In page 337 

a 2 


Attendants carrying Pomegranates and Locusts (Kouyunjik). Facing page 338 
The King in his Chariot passing through a Stream in a Valley (Kouyunjik). 

Facing page 340 
Assyrian Cylinder, with Dagon, or the Fish-god. In page 343 

Fish-god on Gems in the British Museum. In page 343 

Inscribed Tablet impressed with Seals. In page 346 

Inscribed Tablet, with Inscription at one End in Cursive Cliaracters. 

In page 346 
Entrance to small Temple (Nimroud). Facing page 348 

Fish-god at Entrance to small Temple (Nimroud). In page 350 

Fragment in Blue Clay (Nimroud). In page 357 

Eye in Black Marble and Ivory (Nimroud). In page 357 

Box in Chalcedony (Nimroud). In page 358 

Box in Porcelain ? (Nimroud). In page 358 

Fragment in Porcelain ? (Nimroud). In page 358 

Entrance to a small Temple (Nimroud). Facing page 36 1 

Statute of King, from Temple (Nimroud). In page 36l 

Head in Gypsum, from smaJl Temple (Nimroud). In page 362 

Ivory Head from small Temple (Nimroud). In page 362 

Landing Place with Ferryboats on the Tigris at Mosul. In page 363 

Rock-Sculptures near the Village of Gunduk. In page 369 

The Castle of Mahmoudiyah. In page 388 

Kurds of Wan. In page 389 

The Town and Rock of Wan. Facing page 392 

Interior of a Tomb in the Rock (Wan), In page 39^ 

Ground Plan of the same Tomb (on the same Scale). In page 396 

Kurd of the Neighbourhood of Wan. In page 410 

A Nestorian Family employed in the Excavations at Kouyunjik. In page 411 
Summer Sleeping- Place in the Hills. In page 436 

Arabs and Nestorians moving a Slab at Kouyunjik. In page 437 

Metal Vessel or Casket (Kouyunjik). In page 444 

Assyrian Warriors in a Cart, captured from the Elamites (Kouyunjik). 

In page 447 
Musicians and Singers coming out to meet the Conquerors (Kouyunjik). 

In page 455 
Assyrians flaying their Prisoners alive, and carrying away Heads of the Slain 
(Kouyunjik). Facing page 456 

Assyrians torturing their Captives (Kouyunjik). In page 458 

Wall of ascending Passage in the Palace of Kouyunjik. Facing page 460 
Colossal Figures at an Entrance (Kouyunjik). In page 462 

Tunic of Colossal Figures on opposite Sculpture. In page 462 

Cases containing Sculptures ready for Embarkation. In page 46*3 

A Kellek or Raft on the Tigris. In page 464 

Bronze Ball from Tel Mohammed. In page 477 

Figures of Assyrian Venus in baked Clay. In page 477 

A Hooded Falcon (Chark) on its Stand. In page 485 

The Mujelib or Kasr (from Rich). In page 486 

Plan of Part of the Ruins of Babylon on the Eastern Bank of the Euphrates 

In page 490 
Eastern Face of the Birs Nimroud, with proposed Restoration. In page 497 
Bottle of Ribbed Glass^ from the Mound of Babel. In page 503 



Ghss Bottles from the Mound of Babel. 

Glaxed Earthenware Vessel^ from the Mound of Babel. 

Jug of Soapstone, from the Mound of Babel. 

Fragment from Uie Mujelib^ (Babylon). 

Earthen Jars found in Babylonian Ruins. 

No. 1. An Earthen Inscribed Bowl, from Babylon. 

depth 3 inches. 
No. 3. An Earthen inscribed Bowl^ from Babylon. 

depth H inch. 
Bowl No. 5. Diameter 4} inches^ depth 2^ inches. 
Bowl No. 6. Diameter 5 inches, depth 3 inches. 
Inscribed Earthen Bowls from Babylon. 
Terracotta Tablet from Babylon, representing an Indian Dog. 
Babylonian Cylinder in Sienite (Size of the Original). 
Engraved Gem from Babylon. 
Cylinder in the British Museum. 
Heads of Arab Delouls. 
Arab Man and Woman. 
Lid of glazed Coffin. 
Glased Coffins from Babylonia. 
Terracotta Model of a Body in a Coffin. 
Ram in baked Clay^ from Nifier, 
Engraved Pebble. 

Fragments of engraved Shells from Wurka* 
Inscribed Object in Clay, from Wurka. 
Arab Sheep. 

In page 503 
In page 503 
In page 504 
In page 508 
In page 509 

Diameter 6 inches, 
In page 513 

Diameter 6 inches, 
In page 517 
In page 520 
In page 521 
In page 526 
In page 527 
In page 538 
In page 538 
In page 539 
In page 543 
In page 544 
In page 558 
In page 558 
In page 560 
In page 562 
In page 562 
In page 563 
In page 564 
In page 573 

Nestorian and Arab Workmen, with Jar discovered at Nimroud. In page 574 

In page 582 
In page 5S3 
In page 583 
In page 585 
In page 587 

Loading a Camel (Kouyunjik). 

Captives resting (Kouyunjik). 

Captives in a Cart (Kouyunjik). 

A Battle in a Marsh in Southern Mesopotamia (Kouyunjik). 

Chariot with circular Shield attached (Kouyunjik). 

Assyrians cutting down tlie Palm Trees belonging to a captured City (Kou- 
yunjik). In page 588 

Assyrian Petlcstalj from Kouyunjik. In page 590 

Coin of Trajan, struck at Nineveh. In page 51)1 

Coin of Maximinus, struck at Nineveh. In page 591 

Fragment of stamped Pottery, from Kouyunjik, probably of the Persian 
Period. In page 591 

Greek or Roman Relics, from Kouyunjik. Facing page 592 

Fragment of Dish, with Inscriptions in Hieroglyphs, from Kouyunjik. 

In page 594 

Stone Vessel, from Kouyunjik. 

Handle of Marble Dish, from Kouyunjik. 

Copper Instrument, from Kouyunjik. 

Fragments of hollow Tubes in Glass, from Kouyunjik. 

Gold Ear-ring with Pearls, from Kouyunjik. 

Terracotta Vessel, from Kouyunjik. 

Moulds for Ciold and Silver Ear-rings, from Nimroud. 

Motdda for Gold and Silver Ear-rings, from Kouyunjik and Nimroud. 

Facing page 59(> 

In page 595 
Facing page 596 
Facing page 596 
Facing page 596 
Facing page 596 
Facing page 596 
Faring page 596 


Egyptian weighing Rings of Metal with Weights in the form of a seated 

Lion. In page 602 

Cylinders in green Jasper. In page 602 

Ancient Assyrian Cylinder, in Serpentine. In page 603 

Assyrian Cylinders^ in Serpentine. In page 604 

Assyrian Cylinder, in Agate. In page 604 

Assyrian Cylinder^ in Porcelain or Quartz. In page 604 

Babylonian Cylinders, in Iron Hematite, and Jasper. In page 605 

Babylonian Cylinder, in green Jasper. In page 605 

Babylonian Cylinder (in Jasper). In page 606 

Cylinders, with Semetic Characters. In page 606 
Persian Cylinders, in red Cornelian, in Chalcedony, in Rock Crystal, and in 

Onyx. In page 607 

Clay Tablet with Cylinder, impressed, from Kouyunjik. In page 609 

Part of Colossal Head, from Kouyunjik. In page 6l0 

Tomb of the Prophet Jonah, and the River Khauser. In page 6 11 

Bas-relief representing Pul, or Tiglath-Pileser (Nimroud). Facing page 6l8 
Captives from Padan-Aram, Assyria, and Carchemish, of the Time of Ame- 

nophis III. In page 62S 

Exterior of a Palace, from a Bas-relief at Kouyunjik. In page 647 

Throne Room, Teheran. In page 649 

Plan of the Inclosure Walls and Ditches at Kouyunjik. In page 658 

Double Ditch and Walls of Inclosure of Kouyunjik. Facing page 660 

Last View of Mosul. In page 664 



N.E. Facade and EDtranoe to Sennaeherib's Palace^ restored - FfontUpiece 

Plan I. of czcaTated Chambert, Kouyunjik 

SzcaTatioiii, Koayuigik ... 

Egjftium monng a Coloetiii from the Quarriet - 

Plan II. of Square Tower and Small Temple 

Moond of Arban on the Khabour 

Lake and Island, Kbatouniyah ... 

Entrance passage, Kouyunjik ... 

Flsb-God^ Kouyunjik - - - - 

Archive Chamber, Kouyunjik - - - 

Entrance to Temple, Nimroud - - - 

PUn III. Platform and Palaces, Nimroud 

Map of Assyria, &c. - - 1 _ 

General Map of Mesopotamia - J 

- to/ace page &J 





















at the end 


After a few months' residence in Knglnnd during the year 1848, 
to recruit a constitution wurn by lung exposure to the eiLXt&msft 


of an Eastern climate, I received orders to proceed to my post at 
Her Majesty's Embassy in Turkey. The Trustees of the British 
Museum did not, at that time, contemplate further excavations 
on the site of ancient Nineveh. Ill health and limited time had 
prevented me from placing before the public, previous to my 
return to the East, the results of my first researches with the illus- 
trations of the monuments and copies of the inscriptions recovered 
from the ruins of Assyria. They were not published until some 
time after my departure, and did not consequently receive that 
careful superintendence and revision necessary to works of this 
nature. It was at Constantinople that I first learnt the general 
interest felt in England in the discoveries, and that they had been 
universally received as fresh illustrations of Scripture and prophecy, 
as well as of ancient history sacred and profane. 

And let me here, at the very outset, gratefully acknowledge that 
generous spirit of English criticism which overlooks the incapacity 
and shortcomings of the laborer when his object is worthy of praise, 
and that object is sought with sincerity and singleness of purpose. 
The gratitude, which I deeply felt for encouragement rarely 
equalled, could be best shown by cheerfully consenting, without 
hesitation, to the request made to me by the Trustees of the British 
Museum, urged by public opinion, to undertake the superintend- 
ence of a second expedition into Assyria. Being asked to furnish 
a plan of operations, I stated what appeared to me to be the course 
best calculated to produce interesting and important results, and 
to enable us to obtain the most accurate information on the 
ancient history, language, and arts, not only of Assyria, but of its 
sister kingdom. Babylonia. Perhaps my plan was too vast and 
general to admit of performance or warrant adoption. I was merely 
directed to return to the site of Nineveh, and to continue the 
researches commenced amongst its ruins. 

Arrangements were hastily, and of course inadequately, made 
in England. The assistance of a competent artist was most de- 
sirable, to portray with fidelity those monuments which injury 
and decay had rendered unfit for removal. Mr. F. Cooper was 
selected by the Trustees of the British Museum to accompany 
the expedition in this capacity. Mr. Hormuzd Kassam, already 
well known to many of my readers for the share he had taken in 
my first discoveries, quitted England with him. They both joined 
me at Constantinople. Dr. Sandwith, an English physician on 
a visit to the East, was induced to form one of our party. One 
Abd-el-Messiah, a Catholic Syrian of Mardin^ an active and 


trustworthy servant during my former residence in Assyria, 
was fortunately at this time in the capital, and again entered 
my service: my other attendants were Mohammed Agha, a 
cawass, and an Armenian named Serkis. The faithful Bairakdar, 
who had so well served me during my previous journey, had 
accompanied the English commission for the settlement of the 
boundaries between Turkey and Persia ; with the understanding, 
however, that he was to meet me at Mosul, in case I should 
return. Cawal Yusuf, the head of the Preachers of the Yezidis, 
with four chiefs of the districts in the neighbourhood of Diar- 
bekir, who had been for some months in Constantinople, completed 
my party. 

Ajfter my departure from Mosul, in 1847, the military conscrip- 
tion, enforced amongst the Mussulman inhabitants of the Pashalic, 
was extended to the Yezidis, who, with the Christians, had been 
previously exempted from its operation on the general law sanc- 
tioned by the Koran, and hitherto acted upon by most Mohamme- 
dan nations, that none but true believers can serve in the armies 
of the state. On the ground that being of no recognised infidel 
sect, they must necessarily be included, like the Druses and Ansyri 
of Mount Lebanon, amongst Mussulmans, the Government had 
recently endeavoured to raise recruits for the regular troops amongst 
the Yezidis, The new regulations had been carried out with great 
severity, and had given rise to many acts of cruelty and oppression 
on the part of the local authorities. Besides the feeling common to 
all Easterns against compulsory service in the army, the Yezidis had 
other reasons for opposing the orders of the Government. They 
could not become nizam, or disciplined soldiers, without openly 
violating the rites and observances enjoined by their faith. The 
bath, to which Turkish soldiers are compelled weekly to resort, is 
a pollution to them, when taken in common with Mussulmans; 
the blue color, and certain portions of the Turkish uniform are 
absolutely prohibited by their law ; and they cannot eat several 
articles of food included in the rations distributed to the troops. 
The recruiting officers refused to listen to these objections, en- 
forcing their orders with extreme and unnecessary severity. The 
Yezidis, always ready to suffer for their fuith, resisted, and 
many died under the tortures inflicted upon them. They were, 
moreover, still exposed to the oppression and illegal exactions 
of the local governors. Their children were still lawful objects 
of public sale, and, notwithstanding the introduction of the re- 

B 2 


formed system of government into the provinces, the parents 
were subject to persecution, and even to death, on account of their 
religion. In this state of things, Hussein Bej and Sheikh Nasr, 
the chiefs of the whole community, hearing that I was at Con- 
stantinople, determined to send a deputation to lay their griev- 
ances before the Sultan, hoping that through my assistance they 
could obtain access to some of the Ministers of State. Cawal 
Yusuf and his companions were selected for the mission ; and 
money was raised by subscriptions from the sect to meet the ex- 
penses of their journey. 

After encountering many difficulties and dangers, they reached 
the capital and found out my abode. I lost no time in present- 
ing them to Sir Stratford Canning, who, ever ready to exert 
his powerful influence in the cause of humanity, at once bronght 
their wrongs to the notice of the Porte. Through his kindly 
intercession a firman, or imperial order, was granted to the Ye- 
zidis, which freed them from nil illegal impositions, forbade the 
sale of their children as slaves, secured to them the full enjoy- 
ment of their religion, and placed them on the same footing as 
other sects of the empire. It was further promised that arrange- 
ments should be made to release them from such military regula- 
tions as rendered their service in the army incompatible with the 
strict observance of their religious duties. So often can influence, 
well acquired and well directed, be exercised in the great cause of 
humanity, without distinction of persons or of creeds ! This is 
but one of the many instances in which Sir Stratford Canning has 
added to the best renown of the British name. 

Cawal Yusuf, having fulfilled his mission, eagerly accepted my 
proposal to return with me to Mosul. His companions had yet to 
obtain certain documents from the Porte, and were to remain at 
Constantinople until their business should be completed. The 
Cawal still retained the dress of his sect and office. His dark face 
and regular and expressive features were shaded by a black turban, 
and a striped aba of coarse texture was thrown loosely over a 
robe of red silk. 

Our arrangements were complete by the 28th of August (1849), 
and on that day we left the Bosphorus by an English steamer 
bound for Trebizond. The size of my party and its consequent 
incumbrances rendering a caravan journey absolutely necessary, 
I determined to avoid the usual tracks, and to cross eastern 
Armenia and Kurdistan, both on account of the novelty of part 
of the country in a geographical point of view, and its political 

Chaf. L] TUBKI8H ROADS. 5 

interest as having only recently been brought under the immediate 
control of the Turkish government. 

We disembarked at Trebizond on the Slst, and on the follow- 
ing day commenced our land journey. The country between 
this port and Erzeroom has been frequently travers^ and de- 
scribed. Through it pass the caravan routes connecting Persia 
with the Black Sea, the great lines of intercourse and com- 
merce between Europe and central Asia. The roads usually 
frequented are three in number. The summer, or upper, road is 
the shortest, but is most precipitous, and, crossing very lofty 
mountains, is closed after the snows commence; it is called 
Tchairltr, from its fine upland pastures, on which the horses are 
usuallv fed when caravans take this route. The middle road has 
few advantages over the upper, and is rarely followed by merchants, 
who prefer the lower, although making a considerable detour by 
Gumi^h Khaneh, or the Silver Mines. The three unite at the town 
of Baiburt, midway between the sea and Erzeroom. Although an 
active and daily increasing trade is carried on by these roads, 
no means whatever have until recently been taken to improve 
them. They consist of mere mountain tracks, deep in mud or 
dust according to the season of the year. The bridges, built when 
the erection and repair of public works were imposed upon the 
local governors, and deemed a sacred duty by the semi- independent 
hereditary families, who ruled in the provinces as Pashas or Dcreh- 
Bevs, have been long permitted to fall into decay, and commerce is 
frc<|uently 8to[)ped for days by the swollen torrent or fordless 
stream. This has been one of the many evil results of the system 
of centralisation so vigorously commenced by Sultan Mahnioud, 
and so steadily carried out during the present reign. The local 
gtjveniors, receiving a fixed salary, and rarely permitted to remain 
above a few months in one office, take no interest whatever in the 
pnispcrity of the districts placed under their care. The funds 
assigned by the Porte for public works, small and totally inade- 
quate, are squandered away or purloined long before any part can 
be applied to the objects in view. 

Since my visit to Trebizond a road for carts has been com- 
menced, which is to lead from that [)ort to the Persian frontiers ; 
but it will, probably, like other undertakings of the kind, be 
abaod<>ne<l long before completed, or if ever completed will l>o 
permitted at once to fall to ruin from the want of common rejMiir. 
And yet the Persian trade is one of the chief sources ot tcn^uw^ 
of the Turkish Qinjnrc, and unlcfls conveniences arc aflfordcd ?v)t \\i 

B 3 


prosecution, will speedily pass into other hands. The southern 
shores of the Black Sea, twelve yeais ago rarely visited by a foreign 
vessel, are now coasted by steamers belonging to three companies, 
which touch nearly weekly at the principal ports ; and there is com- 
merce and traffic enough for more. The establishment of steam 
communication between the port« and the capital has given an 
activity previously unknown to internal trade, and has brought the 
inhabitants of distant provinces of the empire into a contact with 
the capital, highly favorable to the extension of civilisation, and 
to the enforcement of the legitimate authority of the government. 
The want of proper harbours is a considerable drawback in the 
navigation of a sea so unstable and dangerous as the Euxine. 
Trebizond has a mere roadstead, and from its position is otherwise 
little calculated for a great commercial port, which, like many 
other places, it has become rather from its hereditary claims as 
the representative of a city once famous, than from any local 

The only harbour on the southern coast is that of Batoun, nor 
is there any retreat for vessels on the Circassian shores. This 
place is therefore probably destined to become the emporium of 
trade, both from its safe and spacious port, and from the facility 
it affords of internal communication with Persia, Georgia, and 
Armenia. From it the Turkish government might have been in- 
duped to construct the road since commenced at Trebizond, had 
not a political influence always hostile to any real improvement in 
the Ottoman empire opposed it with that pertinacity which is 
generally sure to command success. 

At the back of Trebizond, as indeed along the whole of this 
singularly bold and beautiful coast, the mountains rise in lofty 
peaks, and are wooded with trees of enormous growth and ad- 
mirable quality, furnishing an unlimited supply of timber for 
commerce or war. Innumerable streams force their way to th'e 
sea through deep and rocky ravines. The more sheltered spots 
are occupied by villages and hamlets, chiefly inhabited by a 
hardy and industrious race of Greeks. In spring the choicest 
flowers perfume the air, and luxuriant creepers clothe the limbs 
of gigantic trees. In summer the richest pastures enamel the 
uplands, and the inhabitants of the coasts drive their flocks and 
herds to the higher regions of the hills. The foi*est8, nourished 
by the exhalations and rains engendered by a large expanse of 
water, form a belt, from thirty to fifty miles in breadth, along the 
Black Sea. Beyond^ the dense woods cease, as do also the rugged 



ntTine and rock; peak. They are succeeded by still higher moun- 
tains, mofltljr rounded in their fonns, some topped with eternal 
snow, barren of wood and even of vegetation, except during the 
enmmer, when they are covered wilh Alpine flowers and herbs. 
The villages in the valleys are inhabited by Turks, Lazes (Mussul- 
mans), and Armenians; the soil is fertile, and pfroduces much com. 
Our journey to Erzeroom was performed without incident. A 
heavy and uninterrupted run for two days tried the patience and 
temper of those who for the first time encountered the difficulties 
and incidents of Bastem travel The only place of any interest, 
passed during our ride, was a small Armenian vill^e, the remuns 
of a larger, with the ruins of three early Christian churches, or 

baptisteries. These remarkable buildings, of which many ex- 
amples exist, belong to an order of architecture peculiar to the 


most eastern districts of Asia Minor and to the ruins of ancient Ar- 
menian cities *, on the bordera of Turkey and Persia. The one, of 
which I have given a sketch, is an octagon, and may have been 
a baptistery. The interior walls are still covered with the remains 
of elaborate frescoes representing scripture events and national 
saints. The colors are vivid, and the forms, though rude, not 
inelegant or incorrect, resembling those of the frescoes of the 
Lower Empire still seen in the celebrated Byzantine church at 
Trebizond, and in the chapels of the convents of Mount Athos. 
The knotted capitals of the thin tapering columns grouped toge- 
ther, the peculiar arrangement of the stones over the doorway, 
supporting each other by a zigzag, and the decorations in general, 
call to mind the European Gothic of the middle ages. These 
churches date probably before the twelfth century : but there are 
no inscriptions, or other clue, to fix their precise epoch, and the 
various styles and modifications of the architecture have not been 
hitherto sufficiently studied to enable us to determine with accuracy 
the time to which any peculiar ornaments or forms may belong. 
Yet there are many interesting questions connected with this 
Armenian architecture which well deserve elucidation. From it 
was probably derived much that passed into the Gothic, whilst the 
Tatar conquerors of Asia Minor adopted it, as will be hereafter 
seen, for their mausoleums and places of worship. It is peculiarly 
elegant both in its decorations, its proportions, and the general 
arrangement of the masses, and might with advantage be studied 
by the modem architect. Indeed, Asia Minor contains a mine of 
similar materials unexplored and almost unknown. 

The churches of Varzahan, according to the information I re- 
ceived from an aged inhabitant of the village, had been destroyed 
some fifty years before by the Lazes. The oldest people of the 
place remembered the time wh^n divine worship was still performed 
within their walls. 

We reached Erzeroom on the 8th, and were most hospitably 
received by the British consul, Mr. Brant, a gentleman who has 
long, well, and honorably sustained our influence in this part of 
Turkey, and who was the first to open an important field for our 
commerce in Asia Minor. With him I visited the commander-in- 
chief of the Turkish forces in Anatolia, who had recently returned 

* Particularly of Ani. Mons. Texier is, I believe, the only traveller who 
has attempted to give elaborate plans, elevations, drawings, and restorations of 
these interesting edifices. 

Chap.L] the dudjook tribes. 9 

from a Buccessful expedition against the wild mountain tribes of 
central Armenia. Reshid Pasha, known as the " Guzluy^ or " the 
Wearer of Spectacles," enjoyed the advantages of an European 
education, and had already distinguished himself in the military 
career. With a knowledge of the French language he united a 
taste for European literature, which, during his numerous expe- 
ditions into districts unknown to western travellers, had led him to 
examine their geographical features, and to make inquiries into the 
manners and religion of their inhabitants. His last exploit had 
been the subjugation of the tribes inhabiting the Dudjook Moun- 
tains, to the south-west of Erzeroom, long in open rebellion against 
the Sultan. The account he gave me of the country and its occu- 
pants, much excited a curiosity which the limited time at my com- 
mand did not enable me to gratify. According to the Pasha, the 
tribes are idolatrous, worshipping venerable oaks, great trees, 
huge solitary rocks, and other grand features of nature. He was 
inclined to attribute to them mysterious and abominable rites. 
This calumny, the resource of ignorance and intolerance, from 
which even primitive Christianity did not escape, has generally 
been spread in the East against those whose tenets are unknown 
or carefully concealed, and who, in Turkey, are included under 
the general term, indicating their supposed obscene ceremonies, of 
Cheragh-sonderan, or " Extinguishers of Lights." They have a 
chief priest, who is, at the same time, a kind of political head of 
the sect. He had recently been taken prisoner, sent to Constan- 
tinople, and from thence exiled to some town on the Danube. 
They s[)eak a Kunli^h dialect, though the various septs into which 
they are divided have Arabic names, apparently showing a south- 
ern origin. Of their history and early migrations, however, the 
Pa^ha could learn nothing. The direct road between Trebizond 
and Mesopotamia once [)as^^cd through their districts, and the ruins 
<»f spacious and well-built khans are still seen at regular intervals 
f»n the remains of the old causeway. But from a remote period, 
the country had been closed a;^ainst the strongest caravans, and no 
tnivellcr would venture into the power of tribes notorious for their 
cruelty and lawlessness. The Pasha spoke of re-opening the road, 
rebuilding caravanserais, and restoring trade to its ancient channel — 
go<Ml intentions, not wanting amongst Turks of his class, and which, 
if carried out, might restore a country rich in natural resources to 
more than its ancient pros[)€rity. The account he gave me is not 
perha[)8 to be strictly relied on, but a district hitherto inaccessible 


may possibly contain the remains of ancient races, monuments of 
antiquity, and natural productions of sufficient importance to merit 
the attention of the traveller in Asia Minor. 

The city of Erzeroom is rapidly declinii^ in importance, and is 
almost solely supported by the Persian transit trade. It would 
be nearly deserted if that traffic were to be thrown into a new 
channel by the construction of the direct road from Batoun to the 
Persian frontiers. It contains no buildings of any interest, with 
the exception of a few ruins of those monuments of early Mussul- 
man domination, the elaborately ornamented portico and minaret 
faced with glazed tiles of rich yet harmonious coloring, and the 
conical mausoleum, peculiar to most cities of early date in Asia 
Minor. The modem Turki.'^h edifices, dignified with the names 
of palaces and barracks, are meeting the fate of neglected mud. 
Their crumbling walls can scarcely shelter their inmates in a 
climate almost unequalled in the habitable globe for the rigor of 
its winters. 

The districts of Armenia and Kurdistan, through which lay 
our road from Erzeroom to Mosul, are sufficiently unknown and 
interesting to merit more than a casual mention. The map will 
show that our route by the lake of Wan, Bitlis, and Jezirah was 
nearly a direct one. It had been but recently opened to caravans. 
The haunts of the last of the Kurdish rebels were on the 
shores of this lake. After the fall of the most powerful of their 
chiefs, Beder Khan Bey, they had one by one been subdued and 
carried away into captivity. Only a few months had, however, 
elapsed since the Beys of Bitlis, who had longest resisted the 
Turkish arms, had been captured. With them rebellion was 
extinguished for the time in Kurdistan. 

Our caravan consisted of my own party, with the addition of a 
muleteer and his two assistants, natives of Bitlis, who furnished 
me with seventeen horses and mules from Erzeroom to Mosul. 
The first day's ride, as is customary in the East, where friends 
accompany the traveller far beyond the city gates, and where the 
preparations for a journey are so numerous that everything cannot 
well be remembered, scarcely exceeded nine miles. We rested for 
the night in the village of Guli, whose owner, one Shahan Bey, had 
been apprised of my intended visit. He had rendered his newly- 
built house as comfortable as his means would permit for our 
accommodation, and, after providing us with an excellent supper, 
passed the evening with me. Descended from an ancient family 
of Derch-Beys he had inherited the hospitality and polished man- 


ners of a class now almost extinct^ and of which a short account 
may not be uninteresting. 

The Turkish conquerors, after the overthrow of the Greek empire, 
parcelled out their newly acquired dominions into military fiefs. 
These tenures varied subsequently in size from the vast possessions 
of the great families, with their hosts of retainers, such as the Kara 
Osmans of Magnesia, the Pasvan Oglus, and others, to the small 
spa/iiliks of Turkey in Europe, whose owners were obliged to 
perform personal military service when called upon by the state. 
Between them, of middle rank, were the Dereh-Beys, literally 
the " LfOrds of the Valley," who resided in their fortified castles, 
or villages, and scarcely owned more than a nominal allegiance 
to the Sultan, although generally ready to accompany him in 
a great national war against the infidels, or in expeditions against 
too powerful and usurping subjects. Sultan Mahmoud, a man of 
undoubted genius and of vast views for the consolidation and 
centralisation of his empire, aimed not only at the extirpation of 
all those great families, which, either by hereditary right or by 
local influence, had assumed a kind of independence ; but of all 
the smaller Dereh*Beys and Spahis. This gigantic scheme, which 
changed the whole system of tenure and local administration, 
whether political or financial, he nearly carried out, partly by force 
of anns and partly by treachery. Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid, freed 
from the difficulties and embarrassments with which an unfortunate 
war with Russia and successful rebellions in Albania and Egypt had 
surrounded his father, has completed what Mahmoud commenced. 
Not only have the few remaining Dereh-Beys been destroyed or re- 
movcil one by one, but even military tenure has been entirely abo- 
lished by arbitrary enactments, which have given no compensation 
to the owners, and have destroyed the only hereditary nobility in 
the empire. 0[)inion8 may differ as to the wisdom of the course 
pursued, and as to its probable results. Whilst greater personal se- 
curity has been undoubtedly established throughout the Ottoman 
dominions, whilst the subjects of the Sultan are, theoretically at 
lex-^t, no longer exposed to the tyranny of local chiefs, but are go- 
Temed by the more e(iuitable and tolerant laws of the empire ; his 
throne has lost the support of a race bred to military life, undisci- 
plined it is true, but brave and devoted, always ready to join the 
holy fftandard when unfurled against the enemies of the nation and 
iu religion, a race who carried the Turkish arms into the heart of 
Europe, and were the terror of Christendom. Whether a regular 
anny, disciplined as far as jmssiblc after the fashiou o( ALutoy^^) 


Will supply the place of the old Turkish irregular cavalry and 
infantry, remains to be seen, and, for reasons which it is scarcely 
necessary to enter into, may fairly be doubted. With the old 
system the spirit which supported it is fast dying away, and it 
may be questioned whether, in Mussulman Turkey, discipline can 
ever compensate for its loss. The country has certainly not yet 
recovered from the change. During the former state of things, 
with all the acts of tyranny and oppression which absolute power 
engendered, there was more happiness among the people, and 
more prosperity in the land. The hereditary chiefs looked upon 
their Christian subjects as so much property to be improved and 
protected, like the soil itself. They were a source of revenue; 
consequently heavy taxes which impeded labor, and drove the la- 
borer from the land, were from interest rarely imposed upon them. 
The Government left the enforcement of order to the local chiefs ; 
all the tribute received from them was so much clear gain to the 
treasury, because no collectors were needed to raise it, nor troops to 
enforce its payment. The revenues of the empire were equal to 
great wars, and there was neither public debt nor embarrassment. 
Now that the system of centralisation has been fully carried out, 
the revenues are more than absorbed in the measures necessary to 
collect them, and the officers of government, having no interest 
whatever in the districts over which they are placed, neglect all that 
may tend to the prosperity and well-being of their inhabitants. It 
may be objected in extenuation that it is scarcely fair to judge of 
the working of a system so suddenly introduced, and that Turkey 
is merely in a transition state ; the principle it has adopted, what- 
ever its abuse, being fundamentally correct. One thing is certain, 
that Turkey must, sooner or later, have gone through this change. 
It is customary to regard these old Turkish lords as inexorable 
tyrants — robber chiefs who lived on the plunder of travellers and 
of their subjects. That there were many who answered to this 
description cannot be denied ; but they were, I believe, exceptions. 
Amongst them were some rich in virtues and high and noble 
feeling. It has been frequently my lot to find a representative of 
this nearly extinct class in some remote and almost unknown spot 
in Asia Minor or Albania. I have been received with affec- 
tionate warmth at the end of a day's journey by a venerable Bey 
or Agha in his spacious mansion, now fast crumbling to ruin, but 
still bright with the remains of rich, yet tasteful, oriental deco- 
ration ; his long beard, white as snow, falling low on his breast ; 
his many- folded turban shadowing his benevolent yet manly 

Cbap.L] shah an bey. 13 

coanteiiance, and his limbs enveloped in the noble garments 
rejected by the new generation ; his hall open to all comers, the 
guest neither asked from whence he came or whither he was 
going, dipping his hands with him in the same dish ; his servants, 
standing with reverence before him, rather his children than his 
servants; his revenues spent in raising fountains* on the wajside 
for the weary traveller, or in building caravanserais on the dreary 
plain ; not only professing but practising all the duties and virtues 
enjoined by the Koran, which are Christian duties and virtues too; 
in hb manners, his appearance, his hospitality, and his faithful- 
ness a perfect model for a Christian gentleman. The race is fast 
passing away, and I feel grateful in being able to testify, with a 
few others, to its existence once, against prejudice, intolerance, and 
80 called reform. 

But to return to our host at Guli. Shahan Bey, although not 
an old man, was a very favorable specimen of the class I have 
described. He was truly, in the noble and expressive phraseology 
of the East, an " Ojiak Zadeh," " a child of the hearth," a gentle- 
man bom. His family had originally migrated from Daghistan, 
and his father, a pasha, had distinguished himself in the wars with 
Russia. He entertained me with animated accounts of feuds 
between his ancestors and the neighbouring chiefs, when without 
their anne<l retainers neither could venture beyond their imme- 
diate territories, contrasting, with good sense and a fair knowledge 
of his subject, tlic former with the actual state of the country. 
On the followiniT morninix, when 1 bade him adieu, he would not 
allow me to rewanl either himself or his servants, for hospitality 
extcn«led to so larjje a comnanv. He rode with me fur some 
dij»tance on n)y route, witii his greyhounds and followers, and then 
returned to his viliafre. 

Fn»m (iuli we crossed a hitrh ranj^c of mountains, runningr 
nearly ea>t and west, by a pass called Ali-Baba, or Ala-Baba, en- 
joying from the summit an extensive view of the plain of Pasvin, 
onre one of the most thickly |>eopled and best cultivated districts 
in Armenia, The Christian inhabitants were partly induced by 
prc^mi-es of lan<l and protection, and partly compelled by force, 
to accompany the Russian army into Georgia after the end 

• T)ie mo*t unolwTvanl an<l hasty traveller in Turkey would soon bocom<» 
a#«|u»i(it(.il with lhi*» fart, cruiM he na*! the nlo^le^t an«l pious instri|)tion, oarveil 
In T''Vu'f f»n a •niull marl.le taMi't of the j)ure>t while, aihirniu;: al!no>t every 
kaif-ruinc*] fountain at which he stops lu refIe^h himself l)y the<lo. 


of the last war with Turkey. By similar means that part of the 
Pashalic of Erzeroom adjoining the Russian territories was almost 
stripped of its most industrious Armenian population. To the 
south of us rose the snow-capped mountains of the Bin-Ghiul> 
or the " Thousand Lakes/' in which the Araxes and several con- 
fluents of the Euphrates have their source. We descended from 
the pass into undulating and barren downs. The villages, thinly 
scattered over the low hills, were deserted by their inhabitants, 
who, at this season of the year, pitch their tents and seek 
pasture for their flocks in the uplands. We encamped for the 
night near one of these villages, called Gundi-Miran, or, in 
Turkish, Bey-Kiui, which has the same meaning, " the village 
of the chief." A man who remained to watch the crops of com 
and barley went to the tents, and brought us such provisions 
as we required. The inhabitants of this district are Kurds, and 
are still divided into tribes. The owners of Gundi-Miran, and 
the surrounding villages, are the Ziraklu (the armour-wearers), 
who came originally from the neighbourhood of Diarbekir. Within 
a few months of our visit they were in open rebellion against the 
government, and the country had been closed against travellers and 

Next day we continued our journey amongst undulating hills, 
abounding in flocks of the great and lesser bustard. Innmerable 
sheep-walks branched from the beaten path, a sign that villages 
were near ; but, like those we had passed the day before, they had 
been deserted for the yilaks^ or summer pastures. These villages are 
still such as they were when Xenophon traversed Armenia. " Their 
houses," says he, ** were under ground ; the mouth resembling that 
of a well, but spacious below : there was an entrance dug for the 
cattle, but the inhabitants descended by ladders. In these houses 
were goats, sheep, cows, and fowls with their young." • The low 
hovels, mere holes in the hill-side, and the common refuge of man, 
poultry, and cattle, cannot be seen from any distance, and they are 
purposely built away from the road to escape the unwelcome visits of 
travelling government oflScers and marching troops. It is not un- 
common for a traveller to receive the first intimation of his approach * 
to a village by finding his horse's fore feet down a chimney, and 
himself taking his place unexpectedly in the family circle through 
the roof. Numerous small streams wind among the valleys, mark- 
ing by meandering lines ofperpetual green their course to the Arras, 

* Anabasis, lib. iv. c. 5. 


or Araxes. We crossed that river about midday by a ford not 
more than three feet deep, but the bed of the stream is wide, and 
after rains, and during the spring, is completely filled by an- im- 
passible torrent. On its southern bank we found a caravan re- 
posing, the horses and mules feeding in the long grass, the travellers 
sleeping in the shade of their piled up bales of goods. Amongst the 
merchants we recognised several natives of Mosul who trade with 
Erzeroom, changing dates and coarse Mosul fabrics for a fine linen 
made at Riza, — a small place on the Black Sea, near Trebizond, — > 
and much worn by the wealthy and by women. 

During the afternoon we crossed the western spur of the Tiektab 
Mountains, a high and bold range with three well defined peaks, 
which had been visible from the summit of the Ala-Baba pass. 
From the crest we had the first view of Subhan, or Sipan, Dagh ♦, 
a magnificent conical peak, covered with eternal snow, and rising 
abruptly from the plain to the north of Lake Wan. It is a con- 
spicuous and beautiful object from every part of the surrounding 
country. We descended into the wide and fertile plain of Hinnis. 
The town was just visible in the distance, but we left it to the 
right, and halted for the night in the large Armenian village of 
Koeli, after a ride of more than nine hours. I was received at the 
gue«t-houset with great hospitality by one Misrab Agha, a Turk, 

• SIpan 13 a Kurdish corruption of Subhan, i.e. Praise. The mountain is so 
called, because a tradition asserts that whilst Noah was carried to and fro by 
the waters of the dehigc, the ark struck ajrainst its peak, and the patriarch, 
alarmed by the shoik, exclaimed " Subhanu-Uah," " Praise be to God !'* It has 
also been conjectured that the name is derived from " Surp,*' an Armenian word 
meaning " holy.** It has only been ascended once, as far as I am aware, by 
Europeans. Mr. Brant, the British consul of Erzeroom, accompanied by Lieut. 
GIas<x>tt and Dr. Dickson, reacrhed the summit on the 1st of September, 1838, 
aft^r experiencing considerable fatigue and inconvenience from some pecu- 
liarity in the atmosphere (not, it would appear, the result of any very con- 
siderable elevation). They found within the cone a small lake, apparently 
61Iing the hollow of a crater; and scoria and lava, met with in abundance 
during the ascent, indicated the existence, at some remote period, of a volcano. 
L'nfortunately, the barometers with which the party were provided, were out 
of order, and Mr. Brant has only been able to estimate the height of the 
i&ountain by approximation, at 10,000 feet, which I believe to be under the 
mark. (S«*e Mr. Brant's highly interesting memoir in the tenth volume of the 
Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, p. 49.) 

t Almost every village in Turkey, not on a high road, and not provided with 
a caravanserai or khan, contains a house reserved exclusivelv for the enter- 
Uioment of guests, in which travellers are not only lodged, but fed, gratuitously. 
li it maintained by the joint contribution of the villagers, or sometimes by the 
bequests of individuals, and b under the care cither of the chief of 


to whom the village formerly belonged as Spahilik or military 
tenure, and who, deprived of his hereditary rights, had now farmed 
its revenues. He hurried with a long stick among the low houses, 
and heaps of dried dung, piled up in every open space for winter 
fuel, collecting fowls, curds, bread, and barley, abusing at the 
same time the tanzimaty which compelled such exalted travellers as 
ourselves, he said, " to pay for the provisions we condescended to 
accept." The inhabitants were not, however, backward in furnish- 
ing us with all we wanted, and the flourish of Misrab Agha's stick 
was only the remains of an old habit. I invited him to supper 
with me, an invitation he gladly accepted, having himself contri- 
buted a tender lamb roasted whole towards our entertainment. 

The inhabitants of Kosli could scarcely be distinguished either 
by their dress or by their general appearance from the Kurds. 
They seemed prosperous and were on the best terms with the 
Mussulman farmer of their tithes. This village, with others in the 
district, had been nearly deserted after the Russian war, the in- 
habitants migrating into Georgia. Several families had recently 
returned, but having finished their harvest were desirous of recross- 
ing the frontier, probably a manoeuvre to avoid the payment of cer- 
tain dues and taxes. Of this Misrab Agha was fully aware. " The 
ill-mannered fellows," exclaimed he, " having filled their bellies 
with good things, and taken away the fat of the land, want to go 
back to the Muscovites ; but they deceive themselves, they must 
now sit where they are*" The emigrants did not indeed speak 
very favourably of the condition of those who had settled in 
Russia. Many wish to return to their old villages in Turicey, 
where they can enjoy far greater liberty and independence. This 
was subsequently confirmed to me by others who had come back 
to their native settlements. The Russian government, however, 
by a strict military surveillance along the Georgian frontiers, 
prevents as far as possible this desertion. 

Kosli stands at the foot of the hills forming the southern 
boundary of the plain of Hinnis, through which flows a branch of 
the Murad Su, or Lower Euphrates. We forded this river near 
the ruins of a bridge at Kara Kupri. The plain is generally well 
cultivated, the principal produce being corn and hemp, The vil- 
lages, which are thickly scattered over it, have the appearance of 

the village, or of a person expressly named for the purpose, and called the Oda- 
Bashi, the chief of the guest-room. Since the introduction of the tanzimat (re- 
formed system), this custom is rapidly falling into disuse in most parts of 
Turkey frequented by European travellers. 


extreme wretchedness, and, with their low houses and heaps of 
dried manure piled upon the roofs and in the open spaces around, 
look more like gigantic dunghills than human habitations. The 
Kurds and Armenian Christians, both hardy and industrious races, 
are pretty equally divided in numbers, and live sociably in the same 
filth and misery. The extreme severity of the winter, — the snow 
lying deep on the ground for some months, — prevents the cultiva- 
tion of fruit trees, and the complete absence of wood gives the 
country a desolate aspect. Bustards, cranes, and waterfowl of 
various kinds abound. 

We left the plain of Hinnis by a pass through the mountain 
range of Zemak. In the valleys we found clusters of black 
tents belonging to the nomad Kurds, and the hill-sides were 
covered with their flocks. The summit of a high peak overhang- 
ing the road is occupied by the ruins of a castle formerly held 
by Kurdish chiefs, who levied black-mail on travellers, and carried 
their depredations into the plains. On reaching the top of the 
pass we had an uninterrupted view of the Subhan Dagh, From 
the village of Karagol, where we halted for the night, it rose 
abruptly before us. This magnificent peak, with the rugged moun- 
twifl of Kurdistan, the river Euphrates winding through the plain, 
the peasants driving the oxen over the corn on the threshing- 
floor, and the groups of Kurdish horsemen with their long spears 
and flowing garments, formed one of those scenes of Eastern 
travel which leave an indelible impression on the imagination, and 
bring back in after years indescribable feelings of pleasure and 

The threshing-floor, which added so much to the beauty and 
interc??t of the picture at Karagol, had been seen in all the villages 
we had pa-^sed during our day's journey. The abundant harvest 
had hoen gathered in, and the corn was now to be threshed and 
fftun.d tor the winter. The process adopted is simple, and nearly 
furh ai it was in patriarchal times. The children either drive 
horr*<'s round and round over the heaps, or standing upon a sledge 
Muck full of sharp flints on the under part, are drawn by oxen 
»#ver the scattered sheaves. Such were " the threshing-sledges 
amu-d with teeth'' mentioned by Isaiah. In no insUince are the 
aninialf* muzzled — ** thou shall not uuizzle the ox when he treadeth 
«»ijt the corn;*' but they linger to jnck up a scanty mouihful as 
th«y are urged on by the boys and young girls, to whom the 
duties of the threshing-floor are chiefly as>*igned. The grain is 
winnowed l)y the men and women, who throw the com aud blnxv* 



together into the aJr with a wooden ehovel) leaving the wind to 
carry away the chaff whilst the seed falls to the ground. The 
wheat 18 then raked into heape and left on the threshing-floor 

until the tithe- gatherer has taken his portion. The straw is stored 
for the winter, as provender for the cattle," 

The Kurdish inhabitants of this plain are chieBy of the tribe of 
Mamanli, once very powerful, and mustering nearly 2O00 horse- 
men for war, according to the information I received from one of 
their petty chiefs who lodged with ua for the night in the guest- 
house of Karagot. After the Kussian war, part of the tribe was 
included in the ceded terriiory. Their chief resides at Malaskert. 

* Theae processes of thresliing and winnoiring appear to have been used from 
the earliest time m Asia, Isaiah alludes to it when addressing the Jewa 
(Kxviii. 27, 28. See TranBlutiou hy the Rev. John Jones) ; — 

" The dill is not threshed with the lhre*hivg iledgt. 
Nor is the wheel of the wain piade to roll over the cummin. 

Bread corn a threshed : 

But not for ever will he continue thus to thresh it; 

Though he driveth along Ibe wheels of his wain, 

Ayid hit hortei, he will not bruise it to dust." 
" The oxen and the young asses, that till the ground 

Shall eat clean provender. 

Which hath been winnowed icifA the shovel utiAttMhiha fan." (xxx. 24.) 
" Behold, I have made thee a new sharp threshing wain (sledge) armed \m& 

pointed teeth" (ili. IS.) 
" Thou shalt winnow them, and the wind shall carr; them away." (xll. 16.) 


We crossed the principal branch of the Euphrates soon after 
leaving Karagol. Although the river is fordable at this time of 
year, during the spring it is nearly a mile in breadth, overflowing 
its banks, and converting the entire plain into one great marsh. 
We had now to pick our way through a swamp, scaring, as we 
advanced, myriads of wild-fowl. I have rarely seen game in such 
abundance and such variety in one spot ; the water swarmed with 
geese, duck, and teal, the marshy ground with herons and snipe, 
and the stubble with bustards and cranes. After the rains the 
lower road is impassable, and caravans are obliged to make a con- 
siderable circuit along the foot of the hills. 

We were not sorry to escape the fever-breeding swamp and mud 
of the pl^n, and to enter a line of low hills, separating us from the 
lake of Gula Shailu. I stopped for a few minutes at an Armenian 
monastery, situated on a small platform overlooking the plain. The 
bishop was at his breakfast, his fare frugal and episcopal enough, 
consistincr of nothinc]r more than boiled beans and sour milk. 
He insisted that I should partake of his repast, and I did so, 
in a small room scarcely large enough to admit the round tray 
containing the dishes, into which I dipped my hand with him 
and his chaplain. I found him profoundly ignorant, like the rest 
of his class, grumbling about taxes, and abusing the Turkish go- 
vernment. All I could learn of the church was that it contained 
the body of a much venerated saint, who had lived about the time 
of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and that it was the resort of the 
afflicted and diseased who trusted to their faith, rather than to 
medicine, for relief. The whole establishment belongs to the large 
Armenian village of Kop, which could be faintly distinguished in 
the plain below. The Kurds had plundered the convent of its 
books and its finery, but the church remained pretty well as it had 
been some fifteen centuries ago. 

After a pleasant ride of five hours we reached a deep clear lake, 
embedded in the mountaini*, two or three pelicans, ** swan and sha- 
dow double," and myriads of water-fowl, lazily floating on its blue 
waters. Piron, the village where we halted for the night, stands at 
the further end of the Gula Shailu, and is inhabited by Kurds of 
the tribe of Ha^ananlu, and by Armenians, all living in good fel- 
lowiibip amidst the dirt and wretchedness of their eternal dung- 
heap*. Ophthalmia had made sad havoc amongst them, and the 
doctor was soon surrounded by a crowd of the blind and diseased 
clamoring for relief. The villagers said that a Persian, professing to 
be a Hakim, had passed through the pkce some time before, and had 

c 2 


offered to cure all bad eyes on payment of a certain sum in ad- 
vance. These terms being ^reed to, he gave his patients a powder 
which left the sore eyes as they were, and destroyed the good ones. 
He then went his way : " And with the money in his pocket too," 
added a ferocious-looking Kurd, whose appearance certainly threw 
considerable doubt on the assertion ; " but what can one do in these 
days of accursed Tanzimat (reform) ? " 

The district we had now entered formerly belonged to Sheriff 
Bey, the rebellious chief of Moush, but, since his capture last 
year, had been made miri, or government property. Although all 
the Mohammedan inhabitants of this part of Kurdistan are Kurds, 
those alone are called so who live in tents ; those who reside in 
villages are known simply as "Mussulman." 

The lake of Shailu is separated from the larger lake of Nazik, 
by a range of low hills about six miles in breadth. We reached 
the small village of ESiers, built on its western extremity, in 
about two hours and a half, and found the chief, surrounded by 
the principal inhabitants, seated on a raised platform near a well- 
built stone house. He assured me, stroking a beard of spot- 
less white to confirm his words, that he was above ninety years 
of age, and had never seen an European before the day of my 
visit. Half blind, he peered at me through his blear eyes until 
he had fully satisfied his curiosity; then spoke contemptuously 
of the Franks, and abused the Tanzimat, which he declared had 
destroyed all Mussulman spirit, had turned true believers into 
infidels, and had brought his own tribe to ruin, meaning, of course, 
that they could no longer prey upon their neighbours. His son, 
more of a courtier, and probably thinking that something might 
be gained by praising the present state of things, spoke less unfa- 
vourably of reform, though, I doubt not, entertaining equal aver- 
sion to it in his heart. The old gentleman, notwithstanding his 
rough exterior, was hospitable after his fashion, and would not 
suffer us to depart until we had eaten of every delicacy the village 
could afford. 

Our path lay along the banks of the lake. The people of 
Khers declare that the Nazik Gul only contains fish during the 
spring of the year, and then but of the one kind caught in the lake 
of Wan. I was unable to account for this fact, repeated by the 
peasants whom we met on our road, until reaching the eastern end 
of the lake I found that a communication existed between it and 
that of Wan, by a deep ravine, through which the waters, swollen 
during the rains and by the melting of the snows in spring, dis- 


charge themselves near Akhlat^ At this season there was only 
water enough in the ravine to show the difference of level. In 
spring the fish seek the creeks and fresh-water streams to spawn, 
and at that time alone are captured by the inhabitants of the shores 
of the lake of Wan. During the rest of the year, they leave the 
shallows and are secure from the nets of the fishermen.f The only 
fish known is of the size and appearance of a herring. It is 
caught during the season in such abundance that it forms, when 
dried and salted, provision for the rest of the year, and a consider- 
able article of exportation. 1 was informed, however, by a Christian, 
that a large fish, probably of the barbel kind, was found in the 
Xazik Gul, whose waters, unlike those of Wan, are fresh and sweet. 
Leaving the Nazik Gul we entered an undulating country 
traversed by very deep ravines, mere channels cut into the sand- 
stone by mountain torrents. The villages are built at the bottom 
of these gulleys, amidst fruit trees and gardens, sheltered by per- 
pendicular rocks and watered by running streams. They are 
undi^overed until the traveller reaches the very edge of the pre- 
cipice, when a pleasant and cheerful scene opens suddenly beneath 
hu* feet He would have believed the upper country a mere 
desert had he not spied here and there in the distance a peasant 
slowly driving his plough through the rich soil. The inha- 
bitants of this district are more industrious and ingenious than 
their neiglibours. They carry the produce of their harvest not on 
the backs of animalia, as in most parts of Asia Minor, but in 
carl» entirely made of wood, no iron being used even in the 

wheels, which arc ingeniously built of 
walnut, oak, and kara agatch (literally, 
black tree — ? thorn), the stronger woods 
being used for rough spokes let into 
the nave. The plough also differs 
from that in jreneml use in Asia. To the 
share are attached two parallel boards, 
about four feet long and a foot broad, 
which separate the soil and leave a deep 
' and well defined furrow. 

• Tb< Bbailu Ulo ha«, I wm inn»rmc<l, a similar communication with the 
>f ara4 Su. IJoth lakei are wrongly placed in the Prunnian and other majMi, and 
lh**ir o«itl«lii unnoticed. 

t Vakuti, in hit pecjrraphical work, the " Moajem cl Buldan," mcntioni 
ihm dicAppearance of the fi-^h, which are only to he seen, he nays, during^ U\t^ 
BOQiitt of tbe year. He addiS however, frogn and f hellfiih. 

c 3 


We rode for two or three hoars on these uplands, nntU, suddenly 
reaching the edge of a ravine, a beautiful prospect of lake, wood- 
land, and moant^n, opened before us. 











Bk ' !)«''' 1 


HTsgir^S ' ' i||l 










— BiTU*. — jovbubt to 

The fint view the traveller obtains of the Lake of Wan, on de- 
fcentling towards it from the billri above Akblnt, is singularly beau- 
tifuL Tbis great inland sea, of the deepest blue, is bounded to 
the east by ranges of serrated snow -capped mountains, peering one 
above ibe other, and springing here and there into the highest 
peaks of Tiyari and Kurdistan ; beneath them lica the sacred inland 
of Akhtamar, just visible in the distance, like a dark shadow on 
the water. At the further end rises the one sublime cone of the 
Suhhan, and along the lower part of the eastern shorce BtTClcVtM 
iW Nimrond Di^h, varied h ahtpe, and rich in local traivlUAk 


At our feet, as we drew nigh to the lake, were the gardens of 
the ancient city of Akhlat, leaning minarets and pointed mauso- 
leums peeping above the trees. We rode through vast burying- 
grounds, a perfect forest of upright stones seven or eight feet high 
of the richest red colour, most delicately and tastefully carved 
with arabesque ornaments and inscriptions in the massive character 
of the early Mussulman age. In the midst of them rose here and 
there a conical turbeh ^ of beautiful shape, covered with exquisite 
tracery. The monuments of the dead still stand, and have become 
the monuments of a city, itself long crumbled into dust. Amidst 
orchards and gardens are scattered here and there low houses 
rudely built out of the remains of the earlier habitations, and 
fragments of cornice and sculpture are piled up into walls around 
the cultivated plots. 

Leaving the servants to pitch the tents on a lawn near one of the 
finest of the old Mussulman tombs, and in a grove of lofty trees, 
beneath whose spreading branches we could catch distant views of 
the lake, I walked through the ruins. Emerging from the gardens 
and crossing a part of the great burying-ground, I came upon a 
well-preserved mausoleum of the same deep red stone, now glow- 
ing in the rays of the sun ; its conical roof rested on columns and 
arches, and on a kubkh^ or place to direct the face in prayer, deco- 
rated with all the richness, yet elegance, of Eastern taste. The cor- 
nice supporting the roof was formed by many bands of ornament, 
each equally graceful though differing one from the other. The 
columns stood on a base rising about nine feet from the ground, 
the upper part of which was adorned with panels, each varying 
in shape, and containing many-angled recesses, decorated with 
different patterns, and the lower part projected at an angle with 
the rest of the building. In this basement was the chamber ; the 
mortal remains of its royal occupant had long ago been torn 
away and thrown to the dust. Around the turbeh were scattered 
richly carved head and foot stones, marking the graves of less 
noble men; and the whole was enclosed by a grove of lofty trees, 
the dark-blue lake glittering beyond. Whilst the scene was worthy 
of the pencil of a Turner, each detail in the building was a study 
for an architect. Tradition names the tomb that of Sultan 
Baiandour f, one of the chiefs of the great Tatar tribes, who 
crossed the frontiers of Persia in the fifteenth century. The 

* The small building which sometimes covers a Mohammedan tomb is so 

t A sultan of the Ak-Eoujunlu, or White-sheep Tatars, from whom the tribe 
•'^red their name of Baiandouru 


building still resisting decay is now used as a storehouse for grain 
and straw by a degenerate race, utterly unmindful of the glories 
of their ancestors. Near this turbeh were others, less well pre- 
served, but equally remarkable for elegant and varied decoration, 
their conical roofs fretted with delicate tracery, carved in relief on 
the red stone. They belong, according to local tradition, to Sultans 
of the Ak-Kouyunlu and Kara-Kouyunlu Tatars, the well-known 
tribes of the White and Black Sheep. 

Beyond the turbeh of Sultan Baiandour, through a deep ravine 
such as I have already described, runs a brawling stream, crossed 
by an old bridge ; orchards and gardens make the bottom of the 
narrow valley, and the cultivated ledges as seen from above, a 
bed of foliage. The lofty perpendicular rocks rising on both sides 
are literally honeycombed with entrances to artificial caves, — 
ancient tombs, or dwelling-places. On a high isolated mass of 
sandstone stand the walls and towers of a castle, the remains 
of the ancient city of Khelath, celebrated in Armenian history, 
and one of the seats of Armenian power. I ascended to the 
crumbling ruins, and examined the excavations in the rocks. The 
latter are now used as habitations, and as stables for herds and 
ilocks. The spacious entrances of some are filled up with stones 
for protection and comfort, a small opening being left for a door- 
way. Before them, on the ledges overlooking the ravine, stood 
here and there groups of as noble a race as I have anywhere 
seen, tall, brawny men^ handsome women, and beautiful children. 
They were Kurds, dressed in the flowing and richly-colored robes 
of their tribe. I talked with them and found them courteous, in- 
telligent, and communicative. 

Many of the tombs are approached by flights of steps, also cut 
in the rock. An entrance, generally square, unless subsequently 
widened, and either perfectly plain or decorated with a simple 
cornice^ opens into a spacious chamber, which frequently leads into 
others on the same level, or by narrow flights of steps into upper 
rooms. There are no traces of the means by which these entrances 
were closed : they probably were so by stones, turning on rude 
hinges, or rolling on rollers.* Excavated in the walls, or some- 

♦ Tombs, with entrances closed by stones, ingeniously made to roll back into 
a groove, still exist in many parts of the East. We learn from both the Old and 
New Testament, that such tombs were in common use in Palestine, as well as 
in other countries of Asia. The stone was " rolled away from the sepulchre" in 
which Christ was laid ; which we may gather from the context was a chamber 
cut into the rock, and intended to receive many bodies, although it had not 


times sunk into the floor, are recesses or troughs, in which once 
lay the bodies of the dead, whilst in small niches, in the sides of 
the chambers, were placed lamps and sacrificial objects. Tombs in 
every respect similar are found throughout the mountains of As- 
syria and Persia, as far south as Shiraz ; but I have never met 
with them in such abundance as at Akhlat. Their contents were 
long ago the spoil of conquerors, and the ancient chambers of the 
dead have been for centuries the abodes of the livincj. 

Leaving the valley and winding through a forest of fruit trees, 
here and there interspersed with a few primitive dwellings, I came 
to the old Turkish castle, standing on the very edge of the lake. 
It is a pure Ottoman edifice, less ancient than the turbehs, 
or the old walls towering above the ravine. Inscriptions over 
the gateways state that it was partly built by Sultan Selim, and 
partly by Sultan Suleiman, and over the northern entrance occurs 
the date of 975 of the Hejira. The walls and towers are still 
standing, and need but slight repair to be again rendered capable 
of defence. They inclose a fort, and about 200 houses, with two 
mosques and baths, fast falling into decay, and only tenanted by 
a few miserable families, who, too poor or too idle to build anew, 
linger amongst the ruins. In the fort, separated from the dwell- 
ing places by a high thick wall and a ponderous iron-bound gate 
now hanging half broken away from its rusty hinges, there dwelt, 
until very recently, a notorious Kurdish freebooter, of the name of 
Mehemet Bey, who, secure in this stronghold, ravaged the sur- 
rounding country, and sorely vexed its Christian inhabitants. He 
fled on the approach of the Turkish troops, after their successful 
expedition against Nur-Ullah Bey, and is supposed to be wandering 
in the mountains of southern Kurdistan. 

After the capture of Beder Khan Bey, Osman Pasha, the com- 
mander-in-chief of the Turkish army, a man of enterprise and 
liberal views, formed a plan for restoring to Akhlat its ancient 
prosperity, by making it the capital of the north-eastern pro- 
vinces of the Turkish empire. He proposed, by grants of land, 
to induce the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages to remove to 
the town, and by peculiar privileges to draw to the new settlement 
the artizans of Wan, Bitlis^ Moush, and even Erzeroom. Its po- 

bcen Qfed before. Such, alio, was the tomb of Lazarus. Raphael, who ii 
■iiifiilarlj correct in delineating Eastern habits and costumes in his scriptural 
pieces, has thus portrajed the tomb of the Saviour in a sketch in the Oxford 


sition on the borders of a vast lake is favourable to traffic, and its 
air is considered very salubrious. From its vicinity to the Persian 
and Bussian frontiers it might become of considerable importance 
as a military depot. Osraan Pasha was about to construct a 
palace, a bazar, and barracks, and to repair the walls of the old 
castle, when death put an end to his schemes. In Turkey a 
man in power, from principle, never carries out the plans, or 
finishes the buildings of his predecessor ; and Akhlat, one of the 
most beautiful spots that the imagination can picture, will probably 
long remain a heap of ruins. Scarcely a sail flutters on the water. 
The only commerce is carried on by a few miserable vessels, which 
venture in the finest weather to leave the little harbour of Wan to 
search for wood and com on the southern shores of the lake. 

The ancient city of Khelath was the capital of the Armenian 
province of Peznouni. It came under the Mohammedan power as 
early as the ninth century, but was conquered by the Greeks of 
the Lower Empire at the end of the tenth. The Seljuks took it 
from them, and it then again became a Mussulman principality. 
It was long a place of contention for the early Arab and Tatar 
conquerors. Shah Armen* reduced it towards the end of the 
twelfth century. It was besieged, without result, by the cele- 
brated Saleh-ed-din, and was finally captured by his nephew, the 
son of Melek Adel, in A. D. 1207. 

The sun was setting as I returned to the tents. The whole 
scene was lighted up with its golden tints, and Claude never 
composed a subject more beautiful than was here furnished by 
nature herself. I was seated outside my tent gazing listlessly on 
the scene, when I was roused by a well-remembered cry, but one 
which I had not heard for years. I turned about and saw stand- 
ing before me a Persian Dervish, clothed in the fawn-colored 
gazelle skin, and wearing the conical red cap, edged with fur, and 
embroidered in black braid with verses from the Koran and invo- 
cations to Ali, the patron of his sect. He was no less surprised 
than I had been at his greeting, when I gave him the answer 
peculiar to men of his order. He was my devoted friend and ser- 
vant from that moment, and sent his boy to fetch a dish of pears, 
for which he actually refused a present ten times their value. He 

* Shah Armen, i. e. King of Armenia, was a title assumed by a dynasty 
reigning at Akhlat, founded by Sokman Kothby, a slave of the Seljuk prince, 
Kothbedin Ismail, who established an independent principality at Akhlat in 
A.D. 1100, which lasted eighty years. 


declared that I was one of his craft, and was fairly puzzled to 
make out where I had picked up my knowledge of his mystery 
and phraseology. But he was not my first Dervish friend; I had 
bad many adventures in company with such as he. 

Whilst we were seated chatting in the soft moonlight^ Hormuzd 
was suddenly embraced by a young man resplendent with silk and 
gold embroidery and armed to the teeth. He was a chief from the 
district of Mosul and well known to us. Hearing of our arrival he 
had hastened from his village at some distance to welcome us, and 
to endeavour to persuade me to move the encampment and partake 
of his hospitality. Failing, of course, in prevailing upon me to 
change my quarters for the night, he sent his servant to his wife, 
who was a lady of Mosul, and formerly a friend of my companion's, 
for a sheep. We found ourselves thus unexpectedly amongst 
friends. Our circle was further increased by Christians and Mus- 
sulmans of Aklilat, and the night was far spent before we retired 
to rest. 

In the morning, soon after sunrise, I renewed my wanderings 
amongst the ruins, first calling upon the Mudir, or governor, who 
received me seated under his own fig-tree. He was an old grey- 
beard, a native of the place, and of a straightforward, honest bearing. 
I had to listen to the usual complaints of poverty and over-taxation, 
although, after all, the village, with its extensive gardens, only con- 
tributed yearly ten purses, or less than forty-five pounds, to the 
public revenue. This sum seems small enough, but without trade, 
and distant from any high road, there was not a para of ready 
money, according to the Mudir, in the place. 

The governor's cottage stood near the northern edge of 
Akhlat, and a little beyond it the road again emerged into that 
forest of richly-carved tombs which surrounds the place, like a 
broad belt — the accumulated remains of successive generations. The 
triumph of the dead over the living is perhaps only thus seen in 
the East. In England, where we grudge our dead their last resting 
places, the habitations of the living encroach on the burial-ground; 
in the East it is the grave-yard which drives before it the cottage 
and the mansion. The massive headstones still stand erect long 
after the dwelling-places of even the descendants of those who 
placed them there have passed away. Several handsome turbehs, 
resembling in their genenil form those I had already visited, though 
dtflfering from them in their elegant and elaborate details, were 
scattered amongst the more humble tombs. 


From the Mudir's house I rode to the more ancient part of the 
city and to the rock tombs. The ravine, at no great distance from 
where it joins the lake, is divided into two branches, each watered 
by an abundant stream. I followed them both for four or five 
miles, ascending by the one, then crossing the upland which divides 
them, and descending by the other. Both afford innumerable 
pleasant prospects, — the water breaking in frequent cascades over 
the rocky bottom, beneath thick clusters of gigantic chesnuts and 
elms, the excavated cliffs forming bold frames to the pictures. I 
entered many of the rock-tombs, and found all of them to be of the 
same character, though varying in size. The doors of some have 
been enlarged, to render the interior more convenient as dwelling- 
places, and there are but few which have not been blackened by 
the smoke of the fires of many centuries. The present population 
of the ravine, small and scanty enough, resides almost entirely in 
these caves. Amongst the tombs there are galleries and passages 
in the cliffs without apparent use, and flights of steps, cut out of 
the rock, which seem to lead nowhere. I searched and inquired in 
vain for inscriptions and remains of sculpture, and yet the place is 
of undoubted antiquity, and in the immediate vicinity of cotem- 
porary sites where cuneiform inscriptions do exist. 

During my wanderings I entered an Armenian church and con- 
vent standing on a ledge of rock overhanging the stream, about 
four miles up the southern ravine. The convent was tenanted by a 
bishop and two priests. They dwelt in a small low room, scarcely 
lighted by a hole carefully blocked up with a sheet of oiled paper 
to shut out the cold ; dark, musty, and damp, a very parish 
clerk in England would have shuddered at the sight of such a 
residence. Their bed, a carpet worn to threads, spread on the 
rotten boards ; their diet, the coarsest sandy bread and a little 
sour curds, with beans and mangy meat for a jubilee. A miserable 
old woman sat in a kind of vault under the staircase preparing their 
food, and passing her days in pushing to and fro with her skinny 
hands the goat's skin containing the milk to be shaken into butter. 
She was the housekeeper and handmaiden of the episcopal establish- 
ment. The church was somewhat higher, though even darker than 
the dwelling-room, and was partly used to store a heap of mouldy 
corn and some primitive agricultural implements. The whole was 
well and strongly built, and had the evident marks of antiquity. 
The bishop showed me a rude cross carved on a rock outside the 
convent, which, he declared, had been cut by one of the disciples of 
the Saviour himself. It is, at any rate, considered a relic of very 


great sanctity, and is an object of pilgrimage for the surrounding 
Christian population. Near the spot are several tombs of former 
bishops, the head and foot stones of the same deep mellow red 
stone, and as elaborately carved as those of the old Tatar chiefs 
near the lake, although differing from them somewhat in the 
style of their ornaments ; the cross, and the bold, square, ancient 
Armenian character being used instead of the flowery scroll-work 
and elongated letters of the early Mussulman conquerors. The 
bishop, notwithstanding his poverty, was, on the whole, better 
informed than others of his order I had met in the provinces. He 
had visited the capital, had even studied there, and possessed a 
few books, amongst which, fortunately for himself, and I hope for 
his congregation, he was not ashamed to include several of the 
very useful works issued by the American missionary press, and 
by that praiseworthy religious society, the Mekhitarists of Venice. 
The older books and MSS. of the church, together with its 
little store of plate, its hangings, and its finery, were gone. The 
last rummage was made by Mehemet Bey, the Kurdish free- 
booter of the castle on the lake, who, having been expelled 
from his stronghold by the exasperated inhabitants of Akhlat, 
took refuge in the Armenian convent, and defended it for nearly 
a year against his assailants, living of course, the while, upon the 
scanty ttores of the priests, and carrying off, when he had no 
lungt-r need of the position, the little property he had pulled out 
of every nook and corner. The tyranny of this chief had driven 
nearly the whole Cliri»tian population from Akhlat. About 
twenty families only remained, and they were huddled toge- 
ther in the rock toml);*, and on the ledges immediately opposite 
the convent. They are not allowed to possess the gardens and 
orchards near the lake, which are looked upon as the peculiar 
pro[»ertv of the ancient ^lu^sulman inhabitants, to be enjoyed by 
ihcir orthod4)X descendants, who employ neither care nor labor in 
keeping them up, trusting to a rich soil and a favorable climate 
fur their annual fruits. 

I was ajxain struck during my ride with the beauty of the 
children, who assembled round me, i.-suinf;, like true Troglodytes, 
from their rocky dwcllinf^-places. Near the end of the ravine, on 
the etlge of a precijiice clothed with creepers, is a half-fallen tur- 
Ufh, of elegant projM)rtions and rich in architectural detail. It 
overliangd the transparent stream, which, struggling down its rocky 
bed, i* cror'^ed by a ruined bridge ; a scene calling to mind the 
well-known view of Tivoli. Beyond, and nearer to the lakii, vxi^ 


other turbehs^ all of which I examined^ endeavoring to retain 
some slight record of their peculiar ornaments. The natives of 
the place followed me as I wandered about and found names for 
the ancient chiefs in whose honor the mausoleums had been 
erected. Amongst them were Iskender^ Hassan^ and Haroun, the 
Padishas^ or sultans^ of the Tatar tribes.* 

On my return to our encampment the tents were struck, and 
the caravan had already began its march. Time would not pei*mit 
me to delay, and with a deep longing to linger on this favored spot 
I slowly followed the road leading along the margin of the lake to 
Bitlis. I have seldom seen a fairer scene, one richer in natural 
beauties. The artist and the lover of nature may equally find at 
Akhlat objects of study and delight. The architect, or the tra- 
veller, interested in the history of that graceful and highly original 
branch of art, which attained its full perfection under the Arab 
rulers of Egypt and Spain, should extend his journey to the re- 
mains of ancient Armenian cities, far from high roads and mostly 
unexplored. He would then trace how that architecture, deriv- 
ing its name from Byzantium, had taken the same development 
in the East as it did in the West, and how its subsequent com- 
bination with the elaborate decoration, the varied outline, and 
tasteful coloring of Persia had produced the style termed Sara- 
cenic, Arabic, and Moresque. He would discover almost daily, de- 
tails, ornaments, and forms, recalling to his mind the various orders 
of architecture, which, at an early period, succeeded to each other in 
Western Europe and in Englandf; modifications of style for which 
we are mainly indebted to the East during its close union with the 

* Iskender, the son of Kara Yusuf, second sultan of the Tatar dynasty of the 
Black Sheep, began to reign a. d. 1421, and was murdered by his son, Shah 
Kobad. Hassan, commonly called Usun, or the Long, the first sultan of the 
Baiandouri, or White Sheep, Tatars, succeeded to the throne a.d. 1467. Neither 
of these sultans, however, appear to have died at Akhlat. I have been unable 
to find the name of Haroun amongst the sultans of these Tatar dynasties. It 
is possible that the turbehs may be more ancient than the period assigned to 
them by the inhabitants of Akhlat, and that they may belong to some of the 
earlier Mussulman conquerors. 

f The sketch, not very accurate unfortunately in its details, of the ruined 
Armenian church at Yarzahan (p. 7.), will sufficiently show my meaning, and 
point out the connection indicated in the text. I would also refer to M.Texier's 
folio work on Armenia and Persia, for many examples of Armenian churches, 
illustrating the transition between the Byzantine and what we may undoubtedly 
term Gothic. It would be of considerable importance to study the remains of 
churches still scattered over Armenia, and of which no accurate plans or draw- 
ings have been published. 


West by the bond of Christianitj. The Crusaders^ too, brought 
bsck into Christendoin, on their return from Asia, a taste for that 
rich and harmonious union of color and architecture which had 
abieady been so successfully introduced by the Arabs into the coun- 
tries they had conquered. 

This connection between Eastern and Western architecture is one 
well worthy of study, and cannot be better illustrated than by 
the early Christian ruins of Armenia, and those of the Arsacian 
and Sassanian periods still existing in Persia. As yet it has been 
almost entirely overlooked, nor are there any plans or drawings of 
even the best known Byzantine, or rather Armenian, remains in 
Asia Minor, upon which sufficient reliance can be placed to admit 
of the analogies between the styles being fully proved. The union 
of early Christian and Persian art and architecture produced a 
style too little known and studied, yet affording combinations of 
b^iuty and grandeur, of extreme delicacy of detail and of boldness 
of outline, worthy of the Highest order of intellect.* 

Our road skirted the foot of the Nimroud Dagh, which stretches 
from Akhlat to the southern extremity of the lake. We crossed 
several dykes of lava and scoria, and wide mud-torrents now dry, 
the outpourings of a volcano long since extinct, but the crater of 
which may probably still be traced in a small lake said to exist on 
the very summit of the mountain. There are several villages, 
chiefly inhabited by Cliristians, built on the water's edge, or in 
the ravines worn by tlie streams descending from the hills. Our 
ruad gradually led :i\vay from the lake. With CjiwivI Yusuf and 
my Oimjttinions I left the caravan far behind. The night came 
on, and we were shrouded in darkness. We sought in vain for 
lh«- village which was to afford us a resting-place, and soon lost 
our uncertain track. The Cawal took the opportunity of relating 
talfji collected during former journeys on this spot, of robber Kurds 
and munlert^ travellers, which did not tend to remove the 
anxiety felt by some of my party. At length, after wandering to 

• 11)»* Aral)*, a wild an<! uncultivated jHOple, probahly di'rived their flr^t 
«'•• n- ff :in:liit«Mture f)n the roiKjuest of the Per>ian proviiiees. The pecu- 
i:»r and hi-jhlv ta«»t<'t'ul stvle of th«* IVrsian?*, of which traces may still be seen 
in :h*: r»-inaiii* of the cvlrhrated palace of Chosrocs, at Ctesiphon, and in otlier 
r\.:.* «.f *'.u;hiTn Ter-'ia un«l Khuzistan, united with the Uyzantine churches 
ar.d pilar*-. ««f Syria, pr«Ml»jcc<l the Saracenic. Alrea<ly some such niodificu- 
tl-n Kad, I am «nnvinc«>d, taken place in Armenia by a similar pnM-ess, the 
V*'T*\xn and Imi»eriftl jxjwer l^'in^r continually brought into contact in that 
k r./.l*.m. 1 cannot dwell longer up<m this subject, which well merits invcs- 




and fro for above an hour, we heard the distant jingle of the ca^- 
ravan bells. We rode in the direction of the welcome sound, and 
soon found ourselves at the Armenian village of Keswak, stand- 
ing in a small bay, and sheltered by a rocky promontory jutting 
boldly into the lake. 

Next morning we rode along the margin of the lake, still crossing 
the spurs of the Nimroud Dagh, furrowed by numerous streams 
of lava and mud. In one of the deep gulleys, opening from the 
mountdn to the water's edge, are a number of isolated masses of 
sandstone, worn into fantastic shapes by the winter torrents, which 
sweep down from the hills. The people of the country call them 
" the Camels of Nimrod." Tradition says that the rebellious 
patriarch endeavoring to build an inaccessible castle, strong enough 
to defy both God and man, the Almighty, to punish his arrogance, 
turned the workmen as they were working into stone. The rocks 
on the border of the lake are the camels, who with their burdens 
were petrified into a perpetual memorial of the Divine vengeance. 
The unfinished walls of the castle are still to be seen on the top 
of the mountain ; and the surrounding country, the seat of a 
primaeval race, abounds in similar traditions. 

We left the southern end of the lake, near the Armenian 
village of Tad wan, once a place of some importance, and con- 
taining a caravanserai, mosques, and baths built by Khosrew Pasha 
in the sixteenth century. Entering an undulating country we soon 
gazed for the last time on the deep blue expanse of water, and on 
the lofty peaks of the Hakkiari mountains. The small trickling 
streams, now running towards the south, and a gradual descent 
showed that we had crossed the water-shed of central Asia, and 
had reached the valleys of Assyria. Here and there the ruins of a 
fine old khan, its dark recesses, vaulted niches, and spacious stalls, 
blackened with the smoke of centuries, served to mark one of the 
great highways, leading in the days of Turkish prosperity from 
central Armenia to Baghdad. We had crossed this road in the 
plain of Hinnis. It runs from Erzeroom to Moush and thence 
to Bitlis, leaving to the east the Nimroud Dagh, which separates 
it from the lake of Wan. Commerce has deserted it for very 
many years, and its bridges and caravanserais have long fallen into 
decay ; when, with the restoration of order and tranquillity to 
this part of Turkey, trade shall revive, it may become once more 
an important thoroughfare, uniting the northern and southern pro- 
vinces of the empire. 

We soon entered a rugged ravine worn by the mountain 
rills, collected into a large stream. This was one of the many 


bead-waters of the Tigris. It was flowing tumultuously to our 
own bourne, and, as we gazed upon the troubled waters, they 
seemed to carry us nearer to our journey's end. The ravine was at 
first wild and rocky ; cultivated spots next appeared, scattered in 
the dry bed of the torrent ; then a few gigantic trees ; gardens and 
orchards followed, and at length the narrow valley opened on the 
long straggling town of Bitlis. 

The governor had provided quarters for us in a large house 
belonging to an Armenian, who had been tailor to Beder Khan 
Bey. From the terrace before the gate we looked down upon 
the bazars built in the bottom of a deep gulley in the centre of 
the town. On an isolated rock opposite to us rose a frowning 
castle, and, on the top of a lofty barren hill, the fortified dwelling 
of Sheriff Bey, the rebel chief, who had for years held Bitlis 
and the surrounding country in subjection, defying the authority 
and the arms of the Sultan. Here and there on the mountain 
sides were little sunny landscapes, gardens, poplar trees, and low 
white houses surrounded by trellised vines. 

My party was now, for the first time during the journey, 
visited with that curse of Eastern travel, fever and ague. The 
doctor was prostrate, and having then no experience of the malady, 
at once had dreams of typhus and malignant fever. A day's rest 
wa* necessary, and our jaded horses needed it as well as we, for 
there were bad mountiin roads and long marches before us. I had 
a further olject in remaining. Three near relations of Cawal 
Yu«uf returning from their annual visitation to the Yczidi tribes 
in rJeor^ia and northern Armenia, had been murdered two years 
bcf<»re, near Bitlis, at tlic instigation of the Kurdish Bey. Tiie 
money collected by the Cawals for the benefit of the sect and 
\t< prie9th<MKl, together with their personal effects, had been taken 
bv SiieriffBev, and I was desirous of aiding Cawal Yusuf in their 
rer*ovcrv. Koshid Pasha had given me an official order f(>r their 
restoration out of the property of the late chief, and it rested 
with me to see it enforced. I called early in the morninp^ on the 
ciudir or governor, one (if the household of old Essad Pasha, who 
wx* at that time fjovernor-general of Kurdistan, including Bitlis, 
M«»u«h, and the surrounding country, and re!<idcd at Diarbekir. 
He gave me the assistance I rerjuired for the recovery of tlie 
proji^rty of the murdered Cawals, and spoke in great contempt of 
the Kunls n(»w that they had been sulxlned, treatinf:^ like do;:s 
xhff^ who stood humbly l)efore him. The Turks, however, hat! 
but recently dared to assume this haughty tone. Long uder \\\e 

p 2 


fall of Beder Khan Bey, the chiefs of Hakkiari, Wan, Moush, and 
Bitlis had maintained their independence, and Sheriff Bey had 
only been sent that spring to the capital to pass the rest of his 
days in exile with the author of the Nestorian massacre. 

The governor ordered cawasses to accompany me through the 
town. I had been told that ancient inscriptions existed in the 
castle, or on the rock, but I searched in vain for them: those 
pointed out to me were early Mohammedan. Bitlis contains 
many picturesque remains of mosques, baths, and bridges, and was 
once a place of considerable size and importance. It is built in 
the very bottom of a deep valley, and on the sides of ravines, 
worn by small tributaries of the Tigris. The best houses stand 
high upon the declivities, and are of stone, ornamented with large 
arched windows, trellis work, and porticoes ; many of them being 
surrounded by groves of trees. The bazars are in the lowest parts 
of the town, and low, ill-built, and dirty. They are generally much 
crowded, as ,in them is carried on the chief trade of this part 
of Kurdistan. The export trade is chiefly supplied by the pro- 
duce of the mountains ; galls, honey, wax, wool, and carpets and 
stuffs, woven and dyed in the tents. The dyes of Kurdistan, 
and particularly those from the districts around Bitlis, Sert, and 
Jezireh, are celebrated for their brilliancy. They are made from 
herbs gathered in the mountains, and from indigo, yellow berries, 
and other materials, imported into the country. The colors usually 
worn by both men and women are a deep dull red and a bright 
yellow, mingled with black, a marked taste for these tints, to the 
exclusion of almost every other, being a peculiar characteristic of the 
Kurdish race from Bayazid to Suleimaniyah. The carpets are of a 
rich soft texture, the patterns displaying considerable elegance and 
taste : they are much esteemed in Turkey. There was a fair show 
of Manchester goods and coarse English cutlery in the shops. The 
sale of arms, once extensively carried on, had been prohibited. The 
trade is chiefly in the hands of merchants from Mosul and Erze- 
room, who come to Bitlis for galls, at present almost the only article 
of export from Kurdistan to the European markets. This produce 
of the oak was formerly monopolised by Beder Khan Bey, and 
other powerful Kurdish chiefs, but the inhabitants are now per- 
mitted to gather them without restriction, each village having its 
share in the woods. The wool of the mountains is coarse, and 
scarcely fit for export to Europe ; and the ** teftik," a fine under- 
hair of the goat, although useful and valuable, is not collected in 
sufficient quantity for commerce. There is a race of sheep in Kur- 


distan producing a long silken wool^ like that of Angora, but it is 
not common, and the fleeces being much prized as saddle and other 
ornaments hy the natives, are expensive. There are, no doubt, 
many productions of the mountains, besides valuable minerals, 
which i4)pear to abound, that would become lucrative objects of 
commerce were tranquillity fully restored, and trade encouraged. 
The slaughter-houses, the resort of crowds of mangy dogs, are near 
the bazars, on the banks of the stream, and the effluvia arising 
fit>m them is most offensive. 

Having examined the town I visited the Armenian bishop, who 
dwells in a large convent in one of the ravines branching off from 
the main valley. On my way I passed several hot springs, some 
gurgling up in the very bed of the torrent The bishop was 
maudlin, old, and decrepit ; he cried over his own personal woes, 
and over those of his community, abused the Turks, and the 
American missionaries, whispering confidentially in my ear as if 
the Kurds were at his door. He insisted in the most endearing 
terms, and occasionally throwing his arms round my neck, that 
I should drink a couple of glasses of fiery raki, although it 
was still early morning, pledging me himself in each glass. He 
showed me his church, an ancient building, well hung with miser- 
able daubs of saints and miracles. On the whole, whatever may 
hare l)een their condition under the Kurdish chiefs, the Christians 
of Bitlis at the time of my visit had no very great grounds of com- 
plainL I found them well inclined and exceedingly courteous, thcise 
who had shops in the bazar rising as I passed. The town contains 
about seven hundred Annenian and forty Jacobite families (the 
fonner have four churches), but no Nestorians, although formerly a 
jiart of the Christian population was of that sect. 

There are three roatls from Bitlis to Jezirch ; two over the 
mountains through Sert, generally frecjuented by cjiravans, but 
very difficult and precipitous ; a third more circuitous, and wind- 
ing through the valleys of the eastern branch of* the Tigris. I 
ch<j5>e the last, as it enabled me to visit the Yczidi villages of 
the di.-trict of Kherzan. We left Bitlis on the 2()th. Soon 
ttfuing from the gardens of the town we found ourselves amidst 
a forest of oaks of various descriptions.* It was one of those 
deep, narrow, and rocky valleys abounding in Kurdistan ; the 

• In the iipp«*n<lix will be fouinl a note, with which I have been kiiully fa- 
▼«#n-«l \tj Dr. Limllcv, upon the new and remarkable oaks found in the>e iiioiin- 
lAitts Mod DOW for the first time grown in this country from acorns sent Uoiuc V>>i vuvi 

D S 


foaming torrent dashing through it, to be crossed and re-^crossed, 
to the great discomfort of the laden mules, almost at every hundred 
yards, and from the want of bridges generally impassable during 
the spring and after rains. In autumn and winter the declivities 
are covered with the black tents of the Kochers, or wandering 
Kurds, who move in summer to the higher pastures. The 
tribes inhabiting the valley are the Selokeen, the Hamki, and the 
Babosi, by whom the relatives of Cawal Yusuf were murdered. 
There are no villages near the road-side. They stand in deep 
ravines branching out from the main valley, either perched on pre- 
cipitous and almost inaccessible ledges of rock, or hid in the re- 
cesses of the forest. Several bridges and spacious khans, whose 
ruins still attest the ancient commerce and intercourse carried on 
through these mountains, are attributed, like all other public works 
in the country, to Sultan Murad during his memorable expedition 
against Baghdad (a.d. 1638). 

About five miles from Bitlis the road is carried by a tunnel, 
about twenty feet in length, through a mass of calcareous rock, 
projecting like a huge rib from the mountain's side. The mineral 
stream, which in the lapse of ages has formed this deposit, is 
still at work, projecting great stalactites from its sides, and 
threatening to close ere long the tunnel itself. There is no in- 
scription to record by whom and at what period this passage was 
cut. It is, of course, assigned to Sultan Murad, but is probably 
of a far earlier period. There are many such in the mountains * ; 
and the remains of a causeway, evidently of great antiquity, in 
many places cut out of the solid rock, are traceable in the valley. 
We pitched our tents for the night near a ruined and deserted 

We continued during the following day in the same ravine, 
crossing by ancient bridges the stream which was gradually gather- 
ing strength as it advanced towards the low country. About 
noon we passed a large Kurdish village called Goeena, belonging 
to Sheikh Ifassim, one of those religious fanatics who are the 
curse of Kurdistan. He was notorious for his hatred of the 
Yezidis, on whose districts he had committed numerous depre- 
dations, murdering those who came within his reach. His last ex- 
pedition had not proved successful ; he was repulsed with the loss 
of many of his followers. We encamped in the afternoon on the 

* See Col. SheiFs Memoir in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 
vol.viii. p. 81. 

Chaf, IL] valley of BITLI9, 39 

bank of the torrent, near a cluster of Kurdish tents, concealed 
from view by the brushwood and high reeds. The owners were 
poor but hospitable, bringing us a lamb, jahgourt, and milk. Late 
in the evening a party of horsemen rode to our encampment. They 
were a young Kurdish chief, with his retainers, carrying off a girl 
with whom he had fallen in love, — not an uncommon occurrence in 
Kurdistan. They dismounted, eat bread, and then hastened on 
their journey to escape pursuit. 

Starting next morning soon after dawn we rode for two hours 
along the banks of the stream, and then, turning from the val- 
ley, entered a country of low undulating hills. Here we left the 
Bitlis stream, which is joined about six hours beyond, near a 
village named Kitchki, by the river of Sert, another great feeder 
of the Tigris. This district abounds in saline springs and wells, 
whose waters, led into pans and allowed to evaporate, deposit 
much salt, which is collected and forms a considerable article of 
export even to the neighbourhood of Mosul. 

We halted for a few minutes in the village of Omais- el-Koran, 
belonging to one of the innumerable saints of the Kurdish moun- 
tains. The Sheikh himself was on his terrace superintending the 
repur of his house, gratuitously undertaken by the neighbouring 
villagers, who came eagerly to engage in a good and pious work. 
Whil«jt the chief enjoys the full advantages of a holy character the 
place itself in a Ziorah, or place of pilgrimage, and a visit to it is 
conridercd by the ignorant Kurds almost as meritorious as a 
joiirnoy to Mecca; such pilgrimages being usually accompanied by 
an ofTering in money, or in kind, arc not discouraged by the Sheikh. 

Leaving a small plain, we ascended a low range of hills by a 
pre<>ipitous pathway, and halted on tlie summit at a Kurdish 
village naine<l Khokhi. It was filled with Boshi-Bozuks, or 
im-pilar troops, collecting the revenue, and there was such a 
gt' confusion, quarrelling of men and screaming of women, 
thrit we could scarcely get bread to eat. Yet the officer assured 
me that the whole sum to be raised amounted to no more than 
wventy jjiastres falx^ut thirteen shillings). The poverty of the 
\illnjre must indeed have been extreme, or the bad will of the 
inhabitants outnigeous. 

It was evening; Insfore we descende<l into the plain country of 
th<- district of Kherzan. The Yezidi village of Ilainki had been 
vl«lrih» for some time from the heights, and we turned towards it. 
A§ xhv sun was fast sinking, the peasiuits were leaving the thresh- 
ing-floor, and gathering together their implements of UuftWwdr^. 

i> 4 


They saw the large company of horsemen drawing nigh, and 
took us for irregular troops, — the terror of an Eastern village. 
Cawal Yusufy concealing all but his eyes with the Arab kefieh» 
which he then wore, rode into the midst of them, and demanded 
in a preremptory voice provisions and quarters for the night. 
The poor creatures huddled together, unwilling to grant, yet 
fearing to refuse. The Cawal having enjoyed their alarm for 
a moment, threw his kerchief from his face, exclaiming, " O evil 
ones 1 will you refuse bread to your priest, and turn him hungry 
from your door?" There was surely then no unwillingness to 
receive us. Casting aside their shovels and forks, the men 
threw themselves upon the Cawal, each struggling to kiss his 
hand. A boy ran to the village to spread the news, and from 
it soon issued women, children, and old men, to welcome us. 
A few words sufficed to explain from whence we came, and 
what we required. Every one was our servant. Horses were 
unloaded, tents pitched, lambs brought, before we had time to 
look around. There was a general rejoicing, and the poor Yezidis 
seemed scarcely able to satiate themselves with looking on their 
priest ; for a report had gone abroad, and had been industriously 
encouraged by the Mussulmans, who had heard of the departure 
of the deputation for Constantinople, that Yusuf and his com- 
panions had been put to death by the Sultan, and that not only 
the petition of the Yezidis had been rejected, but that fresh tor- 
ments were in store for them. For eight months they had 
received no news of the Cawal, and this long silence had confirmed 
their fears ; but ^' he was dead and is alive again, he was lost and 
is found;" and they made merry with all that the village could 

Yusuf was soon seated in the midst of a circle of the elders. 
He told his whole history, with such details and illustrations as an 
Eastern alone can introduce, to bring every fact vividly before his 
listeners. Nothing was omitted: his arrival at Constantinople, 
his reception by me, his introduction to the ambassador, his inter- 
view with the great ministers of state, the firman of future pro- 
tection for the Yezidis, prospects of peace and happiness for the 
tribe, our departure from the capital, the nature of steam-boats, 
the tossing of the waves, the pains of sea-sickness, and our journey 
to Kherzan. Not the smallest particular was forgotten ; every 
person and event were described with equal minuteness ; almost 
the very number of pipes he had smoked and coffees he had drunk 
was given. He was continually interrupted by exclamations of 



gntitude and wonder; and, when he had finiehed, it was my turn 
to be the ohject of unbounded welcomes and salutations. 

As the Cawal sat on the ground, with hie nobie features and 
flowing robes, surrounded by the elders of the village, eager 
listeners to every word which dropped from their priest, and look- 
ing towards him with looks of profound veneration, the picture 
brought vividly to my mind many scenes described in the sacred 
volumes. I/et the painter who would throw o£F the convention- 
alities of the age, who would feel as well as portray the incidents 
of Holy Writ, wander in the East, and mix, not as the ordinary 
traveller, bnt as a student of men and of nature, with its people. 
He will daily meet with customs which he will otherwise be at 
a loss to understand, and be brought face to face with those who 
have retained with little change the manners, language, and dress 
of a patriarchal race. 

I WAS awoke on the following morning by the tread of horees and 
the noise of many yoices. The good people of Hamki having sent 
messengers in the night to the surrounding villages to spread the 
news of our arrival, a large body of Yezidia on horse and on foot 
had already assembled, although it was not yet dawn, to greet us 
and to escort us on our journey. They were dressed in their gayest 
garments, and had adorned their turbans with flowers and green 
leaves. Their chief was Akko, a warrior well known in the 
Yezidi wars, etill active and daring, although his beard had long 
turned grey. The head of the village of Guzelder, with the prin- 
cipal inhabitants, had come to invite me to eat bread in his house, 
and we followed him. As we rode along we were joined by parties 


of horsemen and footmen, each man kissing my hand as he arrived, 
the horsemen alighting for that purpose. Before we reached 6u- 
zelder the procession had swollen to many hundreds. The men 
had assembled at some distance from the village, the women and 
children, dressed in their holiday attire, and carrying boughs of 
trees, congregated on the housetops. As I approached sheep were 
brought into the road and slain before my horse's feet, and as we 
entered the yard of Akko's house, the women and men joined in the 
loud and piercing " tahlel." The chiefs family were assembled at 
his door, and his wife and mother insisted upon helping me to dis- 
mount We entered a spacious room completely open to the air 
on one side, and distinguished by that extreme neatness and clean- 
liness peculiar to the Yezidis. Many-colored carpets were spread 
over the floor, and the principal elders took their seats with me. 

Soon after our arrival several Fakirs*, in their dark coarse 
dresses and red and black turbans, came to us from the neighbour- 
ing villages. One of them wore round his neck a chain, as a sign 
that he had renounced the vanities of the world, and had devoted 
himself to the service of God and his fellow-creatures. Other 
chiefs and horsemen also flocked in, and were invited to join in 
the feast, which was not, however, served up until Cawal Yusuf 
had related his whole history once more, without omitting a 
single detail. After we had eaten of stuffed lambs, pillaws, and 
savory dishes and most luscious grapes, the produce of the district, 
our entertainer placed a present of home-made carpets at my feet, 
and we rose to depart. The horsemen, the Fakirs, and the princi- 
|ial inhabitants of Guzelder on foot accompanied me. At a short 
distance from the village we were met by another large body of 
Yezi<lis, and by many Jacobites, headed by one Namo, who, by 
the variety of his arms, the richness of his dress, a figured Indian 
eilk robe, with a cloak of precious fur, and his tastefully decorated 
Arab niare, mijj^ht rather have been taken fur a Kurdish bey than 
the head of a Christian village. A bishop and several priests were 
with him. Two hours' ride, with this great company, the horse- 
men g:illoping to and fro, the footmen discharging their firearms, 
brou;^ht us to the large village of Koahana. The whole of the po- 
pulation, mostly dressed in pure white, and wearing leaves and 
flowers in their turbans, had turned out to meet us ; women stood 
un the road-siile with jars of fresh water and bowls of sour milk, 
whilst others with the children were assembled on the housetops 

• Tlic \ov^ est order of the Yezidi priesthood. 

44 NINEVEH AND BABYLON. [Chap. 111. 

making the tahleL Resisting an invitation to alight and eat bread, 
and having merely stopped to exchange salutations with those as- 
sembled, I continued on the road to Bedwan, our party swollen by 
a fresh accession of followers from the village. Ere long we were 
met by three Cawals on their periodical visitation to the district. 
They were nearly related to Cawal Yusuf, and old friends of my 
own. With them, amongst others, were several young Mussulmans, 
who appeared to be on the best terms with their Yezidi friends, 
but had probably ridden out with them to show their gay dresses 
and admirable horsemanship. As we passed through the defile 
leading into the plain of Redwan, we had the appearance of a 
triumphal procession, but as we approached the small town a still 
more enthusiastic reception awaited us. First came a large body 
of horsemen, collected from the place itself, and the neighbouring 
villages. They were followed by Yezidis on foot, carrying flowers 
and branches of trees, and preceded by musicians playing on the 
tubbul and zemai.* Next were the Armenian community headed 
by their clergy, and then the Jacobite and other Christian 
sects, also with their respective priests; the women and children 
lined the entrance to the place and thronged the housetops. I 
alighted amidst the din of music and the *^ tahlel" at the house of 
Nazi, the chief of the whole Yezidi district, two sheep being slain 
before me as I took my feet from the stirrups. 

Nazi's house was soon filled with the chiefs, the principal visi- 
tors, and the inhabitants of Bedwan. Again had Cawal Yusuf 
to describe all that had occurred at Constantinople, and to confirm 
the good tidings of an imperial firman giving the Yezidis equal 
rights with Mussulmans, a complete toleration of their religion, 
and relief from the much dreaded laws of the conscription. At 
length breakfast was brought and devoured. It was then agreed 
that Nazi's house was likely to be too crowded during the day 
to permit me to enjoy comfort or quiet, and with a due regard 
to the duties of hospitality, it was suggested that I should take 
up my quarters in the Armenian church, dining in the evening 
with the chiefs to witness the festivities. 

The change was indeed grateful to me, and I found at length a 
little repose and leisure to reflect upon the gratifying scene to 
which I had that day been witness. I have, perhaps, been too 
minute in the account of my reception at Bedwan, but I record 

* A large drum beaten at both ends, and a kind of oboe or pipe. 

Cmaf. iil] town of bedwak. 45 

with pleasure this instance of a sincere and spontaneous display of 
gratitude on the part of a much maligned and oppressed race. To 
those, unfortunately too many, who believe that Easterns can only 
be managed by violence and swayed by fear, let this record be a 
proof that there are high and generous feelings which may not 
only be relied and acted upon without interfering with their 
authority, or compromising their dignity, but with every hope of 
laying the foundation of real attachment and mutual esteem. 

The church stands on the slope of a mound, on the summit of 
which are the ruins of a castle belonging to the former chiefs of 
Redwan. It was built expressly for the Christians of the Arme- 
nian sect by Mirza Agha, the last semi-independent Yezidi chief, 
a pleasing example of toleration and liberality well worthy of 
imitation by more civilised men. The building is peculiar and 
primitive in its construction ; one side of the courtyard is occu- 
pied by stables for the cattle of the priests ; above them is a low 
room with a dead wall on three sides and a row of arches on the 
fourth. On the opposite side of the court is an iwan, or large 
vaulted chamber, completely open on one side to the air ; in its 
centre, supported on four columns, is a gaudily painted box 
containing a picture of the Virgin ; a few miserable daubs of 
saints are pasted on the walls. This is the church, when in sum- 
mer the heat prevents the use of a closed room. It can only be 
divided from the yard by a curtain of figured cotton print, drawn 
across when unbelievers enter the building; a low doorway to the left 
leads into a dark inner church, in which pictures of the Virgin 
and siiints can faintly bo distinguished by the light of a few pro- 
pitiatory lamps struggling with the gloom. Service was performed 
in the of)en iwan during the afternoon, the congregation kneeling 
uncovered in the yard. 

The priests of the different communities called upon me as soon 
a« I was ready to receive their visits. The most intelligent 
amongst them was a Roman Catholic Chaldajan, a good-humoured, 
tolenint fellow, who with a very small congregation of his own 
(li<l not bear any ill will to his neighbours. With the principal 
Yezidi chiefs, t(M», I had a long and interesting conversation on 
the j'tatc of their peoi)lc and on their prospects. Nazi is descended 
fnun the ancient hereditar)' lonls of Red wan. The last of them 
waj» Mirza Agha, his uncle, whose history and end were those of 
many of the former indc] pendent chieftains of Turkey. When the 
celebrated Keshid Pasha had subdued northern Kurdistan and 


was marching to the south, Mirza Agha, dreading the approach 
of the army, submitted to the Sultan, and agreed to receive a 
Turkish governor in his castle. The officer chosen for the post 
was one Emin Agha. He had not been long in Redwan before he 
carried away by force the beautiful wife of the Yezidi chief. Mirza 
Agha, instead of appealing to arms, went to Reshid Pasha, and 
feigning that the woman was a slave and not his wife, protested 
that Emin Agha might come back without fear to his govern- 
ment. ' The Turk did return, but he and his followers were 
no sooner in the power of the chief than they fell victims to 
his revenge. Reshid Pasha then marched against Redwan, but 
being called away against the rebel Bey of Rahwanduz, was unable 
to subdue the district. After the successful termination of the 
expedition against the Kurdish bey, Mirza Agha again made an 
unqualified submission, was received into favour, and appointed 
governor over his own people. On the death of Reshid Pasha he 
was invited to the quarters of the new Turkish commander, and 
treacherously murdered during his visit. His former wife, who, 
according to the laws of the sect, could not be received again into 
the community, had been placed in the harem of the murderer ; 
she died on hearing the fate of her Yezidi husband. The body of 
Mirza Agha was brought by some faithful attendants to his 
native place, and lies under a neat turbeh on the banks of the 
stream to the west of the town. Nazi, his nephew, was his suc- 
cessor, but long oppression has reduced him to poverty ; the old 
castle has been deserted, and is fast falling to ruin, whilst its owner 
occupies a mud hovel like the meanest of his followers. 

Redwan is called a town, because it has a bnzar, and is the chief 
place of a considerable district. It may contain about eight 
hundred rudely-built huts, and stands on a large stream, which 
joins the Diarbekir branch of the Tigris, about five or six miles 
below. The inhabitants are Yezidis, with the exception of about 
one hundred Armenian, and forty or fifty Jacobite and ChaldaBan 
families. A Turkish Mudir, or petty governor, generally resides 
in the place, but was absent at the time of my visit. 

The sounds of rejoicing had been heard during the whole after- 
noon ; raki had circulated freely, and there were few houses which 
had not slain a lamb to celebrate the day. After we had dined, 
the dances commenced in the courtyard of Nazi's house, and 
were kept up during the greater part of the night, the moon 
shedding its pale light on the white robes of the Yezidi dancers. 


But as the sun was setting we were visited by one of those 
sudden storms or whirlwinds which frequently riot over the plains 
of Mesopotamia and through the valleys of Assyria. Although 
it lasted scarcely more than half an hour, it tore down in its fury 
tents and more solid dwellings, and swept from the housetops 
the beds and carpets already spread for the night's repose. After 
its passage, the air seemed even more calm than it had been be- 
fore, and those who had been driven to take shelter from its 
violence within the walls resumed their occupations and their 

We slept in the long room opening on the courtyard, and were 
awoke long before daybreak by the jingling of small bells and the 
mumbling of priests. It was Sunday, and the Armenians com- 
mence their church services betimes. I gazed half dozing, and 
without rising from my bed, upon the ceremonies, the bowing, rais- 
ing of crosses, and shaking of bells, which continued for above 
three hours, until priests and congregation must have been well 
nigh exhausted. The people, as during the previous afternoon's 
service, stood and knelt uncovered in the courtyard. 

The Cawals, who are sent yearly by Hussein Bey and Sheikh 
Nasr to instruct the Yezidis in their faith, and to collect the 
contributions forming the revenues of the great chief, and of 
the tomb of Sheikh Adi, were now in Rcdwan. The same 
Cawals do not tiike the same rounds every year. The Yezidis are 
parcelled out into four divisions for the purpose of these annual 
vis^itations, those of the Sinjar, of Khcrzan, of the pashalic of 
AlepjK), and of the villages in northern Armenia, and within the 
Kus^ian frontiers. The Yezidis of the Mosul districts have the 
Cawals alwavs amonirjit them. I was aware that on the occa- 
^iMn of these journeys the priests carry with them the celebrated 
Melek Taous, or brazen peacock, as a warrant for their mis- 
hiun. A favourable opportunity now offered itself to see this 
niyjj^tiTious figure, and I asked Cawal Yusuf to gratify my curi- 
c>-ity. lie at once acceded to my request, and the Cawals and elders 
<'tT»ring no oljection, I was conducted early in the morning into a 
dark inner room in Nazi's house. It was some time before my eyes 
h.-id l>ec*»me j?iitlieiently accustomed to the dim light to distinguish 
an object, frr»ni which a large red coverlet had been raised on my 
entry. The Cawals drew near with every sign of respect, bowing and 
kl'^-ing the corner of the cloth on which it was placed. A stand 
c»t bright copper or brass, in shape like the candlesticks genenilly 
UAtd in Mosul and Baghdad, was surmounted by the rude vuuv^^ 



[Chap. III. 

of a bird in the same metal, and more like an Indian or Mexican 

idol than a cock or peacock. Its peculiar 
workmanship indicated some antiquity, but 
I could see no traces of inscription upon it. 
Before it stood a copper bowl to receive 
contributions, and a bag to contain the bird 
and stand, which takes to pieces when carried 
from place to place. There are four such 
images, one for each district visited by the 
Cawals. The Yezidis declare that, notwith- 
standing the frequent wars and massacres 
to which the sect has been exposed, and the 
plunder and murder of the priests during 
their journeys, no Melek Taous has ever 
fallen into the hands of the Mussulmans. 
Cawal Yusuf, once crossing the desert on 
a mission to the Sinjar, and seeing a body 
of Bedouin horsemen in the distance, buried 
the Melek Taous. Having been robbed 
and then left by the Arabs, he dug it up 
and carried it in safety to its destination. 
Mr. Hormuzd Rassam was alone permitted to visit the image 
with me. As I have elsewhere observed*, it is not looked upon 
as an idol, but as a symbol or banner, as Sheikh Nasr termed it, 
of the house of Hussein Bey. 

Having breakfasted at Nazi's house we left Redwan, followed 
by a large company of Yezidis, whom I had great difficulty in 
persuading to turn back about three or four miles from the town. 
My party was increased by a very handsome black and tan grey- 
hound with long silky hair, a present from old Akko, the Yezidi 
chief, who declared that he loved him as his child. The affec- 
tion was amply returned. No delicacies or caresses would induce 
Touar, for such was the dog's name, to leave his master. He laid 
himself down and allowed one of the servants to drag him by a rope 
over the rough ground, philosophically giving tongue to his com- 
plaints in a low howl. This greyhound, a fine specimen of a noble 
breed, much prized by the Kurds and Persians, became, from his 
highly original character and complete independence, a great fa- 
vourite with us. He soon forgot his old masters, and formed an 
equal attachment for his new. Another dog, a shepherd cur, had 

The Melek Taows. or Copper Bird 
of th« YezidlB. 

* Nineveh and its Remiuns, vol. i. p. 298. 

Cmaf. III.] xenophon's retreat. 49 

accompanied our caravan the whole way from Trebizond. He 
joined us without invitation, and probably finding the livino- to 
his taste, and the exercise conducive to health, remained with us 
acknowledging the hospitality shown him by keeping watch over 
the horses by night. 

Cawal Yusuf, and the Yezidi chiefs, had sent messengers even 
to Hussein Bey to apprise him of our coming. As they travelled 
along they scattered the news through the country, and I was re- 
ceived outside every village by its inhabitants. At Kunduk, two 
hours from Redwan, we found a second breakfast prepared for 
us, and were obliged to alight. Below this place the Redwan 
stream joins the Diarbekir branch of the Tigris, the two forming' 
a broad river. Near are the remains of Husn Kaifa, and of other 
ancient cities, which I was unable to visit. 

We had scarcely left Kunduk when we were met by a party 
of Christians, with the Kiayah of the village of Aoudi at their 
bead. I was again obliged to stop, cat bread, and receive an 
oflFering of home-made carpets, of which we had now well nigh 
received a mule-load as presents. The inhabitants of the district 
were suffering much from oppression and illegal taxation. 

The Kiayah, with some horsemen, accompanied us to Tilleh, 
where the united waters of Bitlis, Sert, and the upper districts of 
Bohtan, join the western branch of the Tigris. The two streams 
are about cqu'xl in size, aii^' at this time of the year both ford- 
able in certain places. Wc crossed the lower, or eastern, which we 
ffund wide and exeeedingly rapid, the water, however, not reacli- 
inir above the saddle-irirths. The viHa^^jers rai.sed the lii^reraire, 
and «nj»|K>rted the horses a^^alnst the current, which rushing over 
I'Kir^e an<l slippery stones, allonling an uncertain footing, tlireatened 
to swt-ep the animals down the stream. Our travelling companion, 
the dt»jx from Trebizond, having made several vain attemi)ts to brave 
tin- rapi<ls, quietly retired, thinking our company not worth any 
furtlar ri.-k. Touar, more fortunate, was carried over in the arms 
of a KTvant. 

The siM)t at which wc crossed was one of peculiar interest. It was 
li<:re that the Trn Thousand in their memorable retreat forded this 
river, calle<l, by Xenophon, the Centritis. The Greeks having 
fought their way over the lofty mountains of the Carduchians, found 
their further progress towards Armenia arrested by a rapid 
•trr-am. The ford was deep, and its passage disputed by a fornii- 
«LtMe fon;c of Armenian.-*, Mygdonians, and Chalda\ins, drawn 
up on an tiiiinencc 300 or 400 feet from the river. In this strait 



Xenophon dreamt that he was in chains, and that suddenly his 
fetters burst asunder of their own accord. His dream was fulfilled 
when two youths casually found a more practicable ford, by which 
the army, after a skilful stratagem on the part of their com- 
mander, safely reached the opposite bank.* 

The village of Tiileh belongs to Hassan Agha, a Kurdish chief, 
who lives in a small mud fort. He maintained, during the time of 
Beder Khan Bey, a sort of independence, sorely oppressing Chris- 
tians and Yezidis. Unfortunately the Turks, with their usual 
want of foresight and justice, had enabled him to continue in his 
evil ways by selling him the revenues and tithes of the district, 
and naming him its governor. He came out and invited me into 
his castle, pressing me to pass the night with him, and regaling us 
with pipes and coffee. It was near Tiileh that the Sultan's troops, 
assisted by the Yezidis, completely defeated Khan Mahmoud, who 
was marching with the tribes of Wan and Hakkiari to the help of 
Beder Khan Bey. 

The sun had set before our baggage had been crossed, and we 
sought, by the light of the moon, the difiicult track along the Tigris, 
where the river forces its way to the low country of Assyria, 
through a long, narrow, and deep gorge. Huge rocks rose per- 
pendicularly on either side, broken into many fantastic shapes, and 
throwing their dark shadows over the water. In some places they 
scarcely left room for the river to pursue its course ; and then 
a footpath, hardly wide enough to admit the loaded mules, was 
carried along a mere ledge overhanging the gurgling stream. 
The gradual deepening of this outlet during countless centu- 
ries is strikingly shown by the ledges which jutt out like a suc- 
cession of cornices from the sides of the cliffs. The last ledge 
left by the retiring waters formed our pathway. The geological 
history of the Tigris, and, consequently, of the low country, at 
its entry into the plain, is strikingly illustrated by this rocky ra- 
vine. In winter this drainer of the springs and snows of the high- 
lands of Armenia and Kurdistan is swollen into a most impetuous 
torrent, whose level is often full thirty feet above the summer 
average of the river. 

We found no village until we reached Chellek. The place had 
been deserted by its inhabitants for the Yilaks, or mountain pas- 
tures. On the opposite side of the river (in the district of Asheeti) 
danced the lights of a second village, also called Chellek, but dis- 

* ADub. book iv. c. 3. 

Chaf. iil] the village of funduk. 51 

tiDguished from the one on the eastern bank by the addition of 
** All Rummo," the name of a petty Kurdish chiefs who owns a 
mud fort there. 

After some search we found a solitary Kurd, who had been left 
to watch the small patches of cultivation belonging to the villagers. 
Taking us for Turkish soldiers, he had hidden himself on our arri- 
TaL He offered to walk to the tents, and returned after midnight 
with provisions for ourselves and barley for our horses. 

For three hours during the following morning we followed the 
bold and majestic ravine of the Tigris, scenes rivalling each other 
in grandeur and beauty opening at every turn. Leaving the 
river, where it makes a sudden bend to the northward, we com* 
menced a steep ascent, and in an hour and a half reached the 
Christian village of Khouara. We rested during the heat of the 
day under the grateful shade of a grove of trees, and in the 
afternoon continued our journey, ascending again as soon as we 
had left the village, towards the crest of a mountain, from whence, 
according to Cawal Yusuf, we were to behold all the world ; 
and certainly, when we reached the summit, there was about as 
much of the world before us as could well be taken in at one ken. 
We stood on the brink of the great platform of Central Asia. 
Beneath us were the vast plains of Mesopotamia, lost in the 
hazy di^itance, the undulating land between them and the Tau- 
rus confounded, from so great a height, with the plains them- 
selves ; the hills of the Sinjar and of Zakko, like ridges on an 
emboc's'ed map; tlie Tigris and the Khabour, winding through the 
low country to their place of junction at Dereboun ; to the right, 
facing the setting sun, and catching its last rays, the high cone 
of Mardin ; behind, a confused mass of peaks, some snow-capped, 
all rugged and broken, of the lofty mountains of Bohtan and 
Malataiyah ; between tlieni and the northern range of Tauruj*, 
the deep mvine of the river and the valley of Redwan. I 
watched the bluulows as they lengthened over the plain, melting 
one by one into the general gloom, and then descended to the 
large Kurdish village of Funduk, whose inhabitants, during the 
rule of lie<ler Klian Bey, were notorious amongst even the ;*avage 
tribcr of Bohtan for their hatred and insolence to Christians. 

Although we had now nothing to fear, I preferred seeking 
an^>ther sjH>t for our night's halt, and we passed through the nar- 
row etreetft as the families were settling tliemselves on the house- 
lojj* for their night's rest. We had ridden about half a mile when 
we heard a confused murmur in the village, aud saw scvcnxl KutvJA 

E 2 


running towards us at the top of their speed. Mr. C.> had been 
fairly frightened into a state of despair by the youngest of our 
party, who entered with mischievous minuteness into the details of 
the innumerable robberies and murders, authentic and otherwise, 
committed by the people of Funduk. He now made up his mind that 
his last hour was come, but gallantly prepared his double-barrelled 
pistols. Neither Cawal Yusuf nor myself could exactly make 
out what was in store for us, until the foremost of the runners, 
seizing my bridle, declared that the Kiayah, or chief, would not 
allow me to proceed without partaking of his hospitality ; that it 
was worse than an insult to pass his house without eating bread 
and sleeping under his roof. Other Kurds soon came up with 
us, using friendly violence to turn my horse, and swearing that the 
chief, although suffering from severe illness, would come out him- 
self unless I consented to retrace my steps. It was useless to per- 
sist in a refusal after such a di8i)lay of hospitality, and notwith- 
standing the protests of my companion, who believed that we were 
rushing into the jaws of destruction, I rode back to the village. 

Kesoul Kiayah, although laboring under a fit of ague, was 
standing at his door to receive me, surrounded by as ferocious 
a set of friends as one could well desire to be in company 
with. " He had entertained," he exclaimed, as he saluted me, 
" Osman Pasha and Ali Pasha, and it would be a disgrace upon 
his house if the Bey passed without eating bread in it." In 
the meanwhile a sheep had been slain, and comfortable carpets 
and cushions spread on the housetop. His greeting of Yusuf, 
although he knew him to be a Yezidi, was so warm and evidently 
sincere, that I was at a loss to account for it, until the Cawal 
explained to me that when Khan Mahmoud and Beder Khan Bey's 
troops were defeated near Tilleh, the Kiayah of Funduk fell into 
the hands of the men of Redwan, who were about to inflict sum^ 
mary justice upon him by pitching him into the river. He was 
rescued by our friend Akko, who concealed him in his house until 
he could return to Kurdistan in safety. To show his gratitude he 
has since condescended to bestow on the Yezidi chief the title of 
father, and to receive with a hearty welcome such travellers of the 
sect as may pass through his village. The Kurds of Funduk wear 
the Bohtan dress in its full perfection, a turban nearly three feet 
in diameter, shalwars or trowsers of enormous width, loose embroi- 
dered jackets, and shirt sleeves sweeping the ground ; all being 
striped deep dull red and black, except the under-linen and one ker- 
chief tied diagonally across the turban, which is generally of bright 


yellow. They are armed, too, to the teeth, and as they crouched 
round the fires on the housetops, their savage countenances peering 
through the gloora, my London companion, unused to such scenes, 
might well have fancied himself in a den of thieves. The Kiayah, 
notwithstanding his bad reputation, was exact in all the duties of 
hospitality ; the supper was abundant, the coffee flowed perpetually, 
and he satisfied my curiosity upon many points of revenue, internal 
administration, tribe-history, and local curiosities. 

We passed the night on the roof without any adventure, and 
resumed our journey before dawn on the following morning, to the 
great relief of Mr. C, who rejoiced to feel himself well out of the 
hands of such dangerous hosts. Crossing a mountain wooded with 
dwarf oaks, by a very difficult pathway, carried along and over 
rocks containing many excavated tombs, we descended to Fynyk, 
a \'illage on the Tigris supposed to occupy the site of an ancient 
town (Phoenica).* We rested during the heat of the day in 
one of the pleasant gardens with which the village is surrounded. 
At its entrance was a group of girls and an old Kurd baking bread 
in a hole in the ground, plastered with clay. " Have you any 
bread?** we asked. — "No, by the Prophet I** "Any butter- 
milk ?"— " No, by my faith ! " " Any fruit ?"—" No, by Allah I " 
— the trees were groaning under the weight of figs, pomegranates, 
pears, and grapes. He then asked a string of questions in his 
turn: " Whence do you come?" — " From afar!" " What is 
vour l)U3ines3?" — " What God commands!" " Whither arc vou 
goin^?'* — *' As Go<l wills!" The old gentleman, having thus 
hatij^fied himself as to our character and intentions, although our 
answers were undoubtedly vapjue enough, and might have been 
cl.-<Mvhcrc considered evasive, left us without saying a word more, 
but soon after came hack bearing a large bowl of curds, and a 
baiik't filled with the finest fruit. Placinjr tliese dainties before 
mo, he onlercd the girls to hake bread, which they speedily did, 
briniring us the hot cakes as they drew them from their primitive 

• It waj* at tin' f«x>t of this fitccp descent that Xenophon was compelled to 
turn olT, as caravans still are, from the river, and to hrave the dlllicultii's of a 
m' untain pa>!», (h»fende<i by the warlike Cardiulji or Kurds. Tln» UlKMlian, who 
«%T rc<l tn <*on»tni(t a hri<!;;c with the inllate<l skins of sheep, "loats, oxen, and 
at.*-.-*, anchoring them with stonen, and covering them with fascines and earth, 
had |K.*rhap<« taken his iilea from the rafts whiih were then used for the navi- 
{r:&ti<>n of the Ti;:ris, a:* they arc to this day. As tliere was a lar^'e hody ^'^^ the 
tnrmr on the opposite fide, rea«!y tr) dispute the passage, the Greeks were unable 
to irail iheiiviclvcs of his ingenious sug^iestion. 

B 3 


After we had brenkfasted, some Kurds who had gathered round 
U8, offered to take me to a rock, sculptured, they said, with unknown 
Frank figures. "We rode up a narrow and ehady ravine, through 
which leapt a brawling torrent, watering fruit trees and melon 
beds. The rocks on both sides were 
honeycombed with tombs. The 
baa-relief ia somewhat above the 
line of cultivation, and is aur- 
EiJ rounded by excavated chambers. 
It consists of two figures, dressed 
in loose vests and trowsers, one 
.apparently resting his hand on the 
shoulder of the other. There are 
the remains of an inscription, but 
too much weather-worn to be copied 
with any accuracy. The costume 
of the figures, and the forms of the 
£\'\ mSSte ^'^ dS^ - '' • characters, aa far as they can be 
A ^^ v'^^'^^^^S^aBw^"^'' <'>3l^i"gi'is'>e<^) prove that the tab- 
' 5ff Iv iJfeJ^S^W&':/ let belongs to the Parthian period. 

It closely resembles monuments of 
the same epoch existing in the 
s.,iip-.^™j irtirt .. Fi'^ij'. mountains of Persia.* Most of the 

surrounding tombs, like those of Akhlat, contain three troughs 
or niches for the dead, one on each side, and a third facing the 

We quitted Fynyk in the afteruoon. Accompanied by Cawal 
Yusuf and Mr. C, I left the caravan to examine some rock- 
sculptures, in a valley leading from Jezireh to Dei^hileh, the 
former stronghold of Cedcr Khan Bey. The sculptures are about 
two miles from the high road, near a small fort built by Mir Saif- 
ed-din % and now occupied by a garriaou of Amaouts. There are 
two tablets, one above the other ; the upper contains a warrior on 
horseback, the lower a single figure. Although no traces of in- 

* ParticuUrlj those which I discovered nenr Shimbor, in the mountains of 
Susiann. (Journal of Geog. Soc. vol. xvi, p. 84.) 

f Mir Suif-ed-din whs Ihe hereditary chief of Bohtan, in whose name 
Beder Khun Bey exercised his authority. His son, Asdensliir (a corruption of 
Ardeshir) Bey, ig now under turveillance amongst the Turks. So well aware 
was Beder Khan Bey of the necessity of keeping up the idea amongst the 
Kurds, that his power wag delegated to him by the Mir, that he signed most of 
his public documents with that chiePs sea), although he confined him a close 
prisoner uotil his death. 

Chap. IIL] 



Gcription remun, the bas-reliefs may confidently be nastgned to the 
same period as that at Fynyk. Beaeath them is a long cutting, 
and tunnel in the rock, probably an ancient watercourse for irriga- 
tion, to record the construction of which the tablets may have been 
sculptured. On our return we passed a solitary Turkish officer, 
followed by his servant, winding up the gorge on hia way to Dcr- 
ghileh, where one AH Pasha was stationed with a detachment of 
troops ; a proof of the cliange which had taken place in the country 

icv iiiv i:u-t Mfil, "hen BcU'i- Khan IJey wa:> still [lowcrful, and 

. Turk w.^uIJhiiie vc.iliirtd int.. that (viM valley. 

Wo f..nn.l the caravan at ^li.nsouriyah. ivIiltc ihcy h;ul . 

It- I. .1 .1 .1 C- .!._ -iirlit Till' " 

no 1 

lal.Iir-hed tholn^^■I 

lat.Ii.hed tho.n^oIvcs f..r ll.e nl-lit. This is one of llie very fow 
Nt-i-I.-rian C'li:ilil;v:in vilhigfs of the plain* wliii;h liaw nut gone over 
to lU- Koniini Calliolic fuith. It contains a cliurch, and snpp^rU 
B priot. The irdialalnnis complained mueli of oppre^.-^ion, and, 
unfortunately, chiefly from bmtlier Christians formerly iif their 
own cr.'e<l. I w:m nuK'h Mriirk with llic intelligtnre and hcniily uf 
ihc children j one Uiy, scarcely twelve years of age, was already a 
K 4 


shamasha, or deacon, and could read with ease the Scriptures and 
the commentaries. 

We left Mansouriyah at four in the morning, passing Jezirch 
about dawn, its towers and walls just visible through the haze on the 
opposite bank of the Tigris. Shortly after we were unexpectedly 
met by a number of Yezidi horsemen, who, having heard of our ap- 
proach from the messengers sent to Hussein Bey, had ridden through 
the night from Dereboun to escort us. They were mounted on 
strong, well-bred Arab mares, and armed with long lances tipped 
with ostrich-feathers. We learnt from them that the country was in 
a verj' disturbed state, on account of the incursions of the Desert 
Arabs ; but as a strong party was waiting to accompany us to 
Semil, I determined upon taking the shorter, though more danger- 
ous and less frequented, road by Dereboun. This road, impracti- 
cable to caravans except whe^i the river Khabour is fordable, winds 
round the spur of the Zakko hills, and thus avoids a difficult and 
precipitous pass. We stopped to breakfast at the large Catholic 
Chaldasan village of Tiekhtan, one of the many settlements of the 
same sect scattered over the singularly fertile plain of Zakko. The 
Yezidi Kochers, or Nomades, had begun to descend from the moun- 
tain pastures, and their black tents and huts of boughs and dried 
grass were scattered amongst the villages. We forded the Khabour, 
where it is divided into several branches, and not far from its junc- 
tion with the Tigris. The water in no part reached much above the 
horses' bellies, and the stream was far less rapid than that of the 
eastern Tigris, at Tilleh. Dereboun is a large Yezidi village stand- 
ing on the western spur of the Zakko range. Numerous springs 
burst from the surrounding rocks, and irrigate extensive rice- 
grounds. Below is the large Christian village of Feshapoor, where 
there is a ferry across the Tigris. We were most hospitably 
entertained by the Yezidi chief, one of the horsemen who had 
met us near Jezireh. 

We mounted our horses as the moon rose, and resumed our 
journey, accompanied by a strong escort, which left us when we 
were within five or six miles of Semil. It was late in the forenoon 
before we reached our halting- place, after a dreary and fatiguing 
ride. We were now fairly in the Assyrian plains; the heat was in- 
tense — that heavy heat, which seems to paralyse all nature, causing 
the very air itself to vibrate. The high artificial mound of the 
Yezidi village, crowned by a modem mud-built castle, had been 
visible in the distance long before we reached it, miraged into 
double its real size, and into an imposing group of towers and 


fortifications. Almost overcome with weariness, we toiled up to 
it, and found its owner, Abde Agha, the Yezidi chieftain, seated 
in the gate, a vaulted entrance with deep recesses on both sides, 
used as places of assembly for business during the day*, and as 
places of rest for guests during the night. He was of a tall, 
commanding figure, with the deepest and most powerful voice 
I ever heard. We arrived earlier than he had expected, our 
forced march from Dereboun having saved us some hours, and he 
apologised for not having ridden out to meet us. His reception 
was most hospitable ; the lamb was slain and the feast prepared. 
But, in the midst of our greetings, a man appeared breathless 
before him. The Bedouins had attacked the neighbouring district 
and village of Pashai, belonging to Abde Agha's tribe. No time 
was lost in idle preparations. The messenger had scarcely delivered 
bis message, and answered a few necessary inquiries, before the 
high bred mare was led out ready saddled from the harem ; her 
owner leapt on her back, and followed by a small body of horse- 
men, his immediate dependants, galloped off in the direction of the 
Tigris. Wearied by my long night's march I retreated to a cool 
dark chamber in the castle, uumindful of the bloody business on 
which its owner had sallied forth. 

AUle Agha did not return that day, but his wife well performed 
all the duties of hospitality in his stead. Mc8:;enger8 occasionally 
came ninning from tlie scene of the fight with the latest news, 
mo:*tly, as in such cases, greatly exaggerated, to the alarm of those 
who remained in the castle. But the chief himself did not appear 
until near dawn the following morning, as wc were preparing to 
renc-w our journey. He had not been idle during his absence, and 
his adiierents ct)ncurred in stating that he had killed five Arabs 
with his own hand. His brother, however, had received a danger- 
ous w(»ijnd, and one of his relations had been slain. He advised 
u^ to make the best of our way to Tel Eskoff, before the Arabs 
were cither repulsed, or had succeeded in taking Pashai. He could 
not furnish us with an escort, as every man capable of bearing 

• Thi" custom of aj*seii»l»lin|j and transacting buHiness in the pate is con- 
tinual! v relVrred to in the Hible. See 2 Sam. xix. 8., where kinp David is 
r.j.fv.-nled as fitting in the fjate; coinp. *2 Chron. xviii. 9., and Dan. ii. 49. 
'Hi** patefi of Jewi>h hou>e8 were |>rf»!»ahly similar to that described in the 
U'%t, Such entran<H»« are also found in Persia. Frequently in the gates of 
< :tJt.-«, a* at Mosul, these reeew»CJ» are used as shops for the sale of wheat and 
barirr, brea^l and gPH.*ery. Klisha prophoies that a measure of fine Hour shall 
^-L- *>ild f<»r a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in thr gate ai 
Saiujiria. '1 Kings, vii. 1. and 18. 


arms was wanted to defend the district against the Bedouins, who 
were now swarming over the river to support their companions. 
Taking a hasty leave of us, and changing his tired mare, he rushed 
again to the fight. We rode off in the direction of the hills, 
taking an upper road, less likely to be occupied by the Arabs. 

About three miles from Semil we saw a horseman closely pursued 
by a Bedouin, who was fast coming up with him, but on observing 
us turned back, and soon disappeared in the distance. The fugitive 
was a Mosuleean Spahi, with broken spear, and speechless with 
terror. When he had sufficiently recovered himself to speak, he 
declared that the Bedouins had defeated the Yezidis, and were 
spreading over the country. Although not putting much faith in 
the information, I urged on the caravan, and took such precautions 
as were necessary. Suddenly a large body of horsemen appeared 
on a rising ground to the east of us. We could scarcely expect 
Arabs from that quarter ; however, all our party made ready for an 
attack. Cawal Yusuf and myself, being the best mounted, rode 
towards them to reconnoitre. Then one or two horsemen advanced 
warily from the opposite party. We ncared each other. Yusuf 
spied the well-known black turban, dashed forward with a shout of 
joy, and in a moment we were surrounded, and in the embrace of 
friends. Hussein Bey and Sheikh Nasr, with the Cawals and 
Yezidi elders, had ridden nearly forty miles through the night to 
meet and escort me, if needful, to Mosul 1 * Their delight at seeing 
us knew no bounds ; nor was I less touched by a display of grati- 
tude and good feeling, equally unexpected and sincere. 

They rode with us as far as Tel Eskoff, where the danger from 
the Arabs ceased, and then turned their hardy mares, still fresh 
after their long journey, towards Sheikhan. I was now once more 
with old friends. We had spent the first day of our journey, on 
leaving Mosul two years ago, in the house of Toma, the Christian 
Kiayah of Tel Eskoff; we now eat bread with him the kst on our 
return. In the afternoon, as we rode towards Tel Kef, I left the 
high road with Hormuzd to drink water at some Arab tents. 
As we approached we were greeted with exclamations of joy, 
and were soon in the midst of a crowd of men and women, kissing 
our knees, and exhibiting other tokens of welcome. They were 
Jebours, who had been employed in the excavations. Hearing 
that we were again going to dig after old stones, they at once 
set about striking their tents to join us at Mosul or Nimroud. 

As we ncared Tel Kef we found groups of my old superintend- 
ents and workmen by the road side. There were fat Toma, 


Mansour, Behnan, and Hannah, joyful at meeting me once more, 
and at the prospect of fresh service. In the village we found Mr. 
Rassam (the vice-consul) and Khodja Toraa, his dragoman, who 
had made ready the feast for us at the house of the Chaldsean 
bishop. Next morning, as we rode the three last hours of our 
journey, we met fresh groups of familiar faces : — Merjan, with my 
old groom holding the stirrup ready for me to mount, the noble 
animal looking as beautiful, as fresh, and ns sleek as when I last 
saw him, although two long years had passed ; former servants, 
A wad and the Sheikhs of the Jebours, even the very greyhounds 
who had been brought up under my roof. Then as we ascend an 
eminence midway, walls, towers, minarets, and domes rise boldly 
from the margin of the broad river, cheating us into the belief, too 
soon to be dispelled, that Mosul is still a not unworthy representa- 
tive of the great Nineveh. As we draw near, the long line of 
lofty mounds, the only remains of mighty bulwarks and spacious 
gates, detach themselves from the low undulating hills : now the 
vast mound of Kouyunjik overtops the surrounding heaps ; then 
above it peers the white cone of the tomb of the prophet Jonah ; 
many other well-remembered spots follow in rapid succession; but 
we cannot lin^jer. Hastening over the creakinij brid^je of boats, we 
force our way through the crowded bazars, and alight at the house 
I had left two years ago. Old servants take their places as a 
matter of course, and, uninvited, pursue their regular occupations 
as if they had never been interrupted. Indeed it seemed as if we 
had but returned from a summer's ride ; two years had passed away 
like a dream. 

I may in this place add a few words on part of the route pur- 
sued by Xenophon and the Ten Thousand during their memo- 
rable retreat, the identification of which had been one of my 
principal objects during our journey. I have, in the course of my 
narrative, already pointed out one or two spots signalled by re- 
markable events on their march. 

I must first state my conviction that the parasang, like its repre- 
sentative the modern farsang or farsakh of Persia, was not a 
mca.«ure of distance very accurately determined, but rather indi- 
cated a certain amount of time employed in traversing a given 
space. Travellers are well aware that the Persian farsjikh varies 
considerably according to the nature of the country, and the usual 
modes of conveyance adopted by its inhabitants. In the plains of 
Khorassan and central Persia, where mules and horses are chiefly 
used by caravans, it is equal to about four miles, whilst in the 


mountainous regions of Western Persia, where the roads are diffi- 
cult and precipitous, and in Mesopotamia and Arabia, where camels 
are the common beasts of burden, it scarcely amounts to three. 
The farsakh and the hour are almost invariably used as expressing 
the same distance. That Xenophon reckoned by the common 
mode of computation of the country is evident by his employing, 
almost always, the Persian " parasang " instead of the Greek 
stadium ; and that the parasang was the same as the modern hour, 
we find by the distance between Larissa (Nimroud) and Mespila 
(Kouyunjik) being given as six parasangs, corresponding ex- 
actly with the number of hours assigned by the present inhabit- 
ants of the country, and by the authorities of the Turkish post, 
to the same road. The six hours in this instance are equal to 
about eighteen English miles. 

The ford, by which the Greeks crossed the Great Zab (Zabates) 
may, I think, be accurately determined. It is still the principal 
ford in this part of the river, and must, from the nature of the 
bed of the stream, have been so from the earliest periods. It is 
about twenty-five miles from the confluence of the Zab and Tigris.* 
A march of twenty-five stadia, or nearly three miles, in the direction 
of Larissa, would have brought them to the Ghazir, or Bumadus ; 
and this stream was, I have little doubt, the deep valley formed 
by the torrent where Mithridates, venturing to attack the re- 
treating army, was signally defeated.! This action took place 
eight stadia beyond the valley; the Persian commander having 
neglected to intercept the Greeks when endeavoring to cross 
the difficult ravine, in which they would most probably have 
been entangled. A short march of three parasangs, or hours J, 
brought them to Larissa, the modern Nimroud. The Greeks 
could not have crossed the Zab above the spot I have indicated, 
as the bed of the river is deep, and confined within high rocky 
banks. They might have done so helow the junction of the 
Ghazir, and a ravine worn by winter rains may correspond with 
the valley mentioned by Xenophon, but I think the Ghazir far 
more likely to have been the torrent bed viewed with so much 

* Mr. Ainsworth would take the Greeks up to the modern ferry, where there 
could never have been a ford, and which would have been some miles out of 
their route. (Travels in the Track of the Ten Thousand.) 

t Anab. book iii. ch. 4. 

{ Xenophon merely says that they marched the rest of the day. After the 
action, they could scarcely have advanced more than three parasangs, or nine 

Chaf. m.] xenophon's retreat. 61 

alann by the Greek commander^ and the passage of which Mith- 
ridates might have disputed with some prospect of success.* 

That Larissa and Mespila are represented by the ruins of 
Nimrond and Kouyunjik no one can reasonably doubt. Xeno- 
phon's description corresponds most accurately with the ruins and 
with the distance between them. 

From Mespila the Greeks marched four parasangs and probably 
halted near the modem village of Batnai, between Tel Kef and 
Tel Eskof, an ancient site exactly four hours, by the usual cara- 
van road, from Kouyunjik. Many ancient mounds around Batnai 
mark the remains of those villages, from which, after having re- 
pulsed the Persian forces under Tissaphernes and Orontas, the 
Greeks obtained an abundant supply of provisions. Instead of 
fording the Khabour near its junction with the Tigris, and thus 
avoiding the hills, they crossed them by a precipitous pass to the 
site of the modern Zakko. They reached this range in four days, 
traversing it on the fifth, probably by the modern caravan road. 
The distance from Batnai to Zakko, according to the Turkish post, 
is twenty hours. This would give between four and five hours, or 
parasangs, a day for the march of the Greeks, the distance they 
usually performed. They were probably much retarded during 
the last day, by having to fight their way over three distinct moun- 
tain ridges- It is remarkable that Xenophon docs not mention 
the Khabour, although he irust have crossed that river either by 
a f^»nl or by a bridge t before reaching the plain. Yet the stream 
\* broail and rapid, and the fords at all times deep. Nor does 
he alhidc to the Hazel, a confluent of the Khabour, to which he 
came during his first day's march, after leaving Zakko. These 
f»nii-ri<»n3 prove that he does not give an accurate itinerary of 
hi- ruute. 

Four days' march, the first of only sixty stadia, or about seven 
xiiilc!!*, brought the Greeks to tlie high mountains of Kurdistan, 
which, meeting the Tigris, shut out all further advance except by 
difficult and precipitous passes, already occupied by the Persians. 

• In ("liaptor X. will be found some further roniarks on this subject; many 
r»a-T.*, ba*t*<l ii|H.n |>er*ional exiKTiunce, may be adduced for the probability 
f.f X'T.ophon's j>r»fiTrin;r the upper ford. 

^ H»* pn»bablv t'H>k tiie more difficult road over the pass, and not that round 
th- 'pur, in ord«r to cro*'?* the Khabour by a bridge or ferry. It niu^t be re- 
m-iu^«-r*Ml that it wa* winter, and that the rivers were eonscfjuently sw(»lk'ii. 

• Thi^ halt, aft' T "o ^hort a day's mareh, may have been occasioned by the 
li^jd. Tlie distance corresponds with sufficient accuracy. 


Xenophon, having dislodged the enemy from the first ridge, 
returned to the main body of the army, which had remained in 
the plain. This must have been near Fynyk, where the very foot 
of the Kurdish mountains is first washed by the riven The spot 
agrees accurately with Xenophon's description, as it does with tlie 
distance. " The Greeks," says he, " came to a place where the 
river Tigris is, both from its depth and breadth, absolutely im- 
passable; no road appeared, the craggy mountains of the Car- 
duchians hanging over the river." The offer of the Rhodian to 
cross the army on inflated skins, bound together to form a bridge, 
having been rejected, on account of the strong force assembled on 
the opposite side to dispute the passage, the Greeks marched back 
to the villages. The Persian prisoners informed Xenophon that 
four roads branched off from this spot : one to the south, by 
which the Greeks had retreated from Babylonia ; the second east- 
wards, to Susa and Ecbatana, by the plain of Zakko, the modern 
AmadiySh, Suleimaniyah, and the foot of the great range of 
Zagros; a third to the west, crossing the Tigris, near Jezireh, 
and thence through Orfa, Aintab, Tarsus, and the Cilician gates 
to Lydia and Ionia; and a fourth across the mountains of the 
Carduchians, or Kurdistan. The tribes infesting this fourth 
road were represented to Xenophon as notorious for their courage 
and warlike habits. They only held intercourse with the inha- 
bitants of the low country, when they were at peace with the 
governor residing in the plain, and such has been precisely the 
case with their descendants to this day. This route was, however, 
preferred, as it led into Armenia, a country from which they might 
choose their own road to the sea, and which abounded in villages 
and the necessaries of life. 

The Greeks appear to have followed the route taken by Sultan 
Murad in his expedition against Baghdad, and, recently, by part of 
the Turkish forces sent against Beder Khan Bey; in fact, the 
great natural highway from the remotest period between east- 
ern Armenia and Assyria. Beyond the Carduchian mountains 
there were, according to the prisoners, two roads into Armenia, 
one crossing the head waters of the principal branch of the Tigris, 
the other going round them ; that is, leaving them to the left. 
These are the roads to this day foUowed by caravans, one crossing 
the plains of Kherzan to Diarbekir, and thence, by well-known 
mountain-passes to Kharput, the other passing through Bitlis. 
Xenophon chose the latten The villages in the valleys and 
recesses of the mountains are still found around Funduk ; and, on 


their first day's inarch over the Carduchian hills, the Greeks 
probably reached the neighbourhood of this village. There now 
remained about ten parasangs to the plain through which flows 
the eastern branch of the Tigris ; but the country was difficult, 
and at this time of the year (nearly midwinter)*, the lower road 
along the river was impassable. The Greeks had, therefore, to 
force their way over a series of difficult passes, all stoutly defended 
by warlike tribes. Tliey were consequently four days in reaching 
the Centritis, or eastern Tigris, the united waters of the rivers of 
Bit lis, Sert, and Boh tan. The stream was rapid, the water reach- 
ing to the breast, and the ford, owing to the unevenness of the 
liottom and the loose, slippery stones, exceedingly difficult ; such, 
it will be remembered, we found to be the case near Tilleh. The 
opposite banks were, moreover, defended by the combined forces 
of the Armenians, Mygdonians, and Chaldaeans. It was impossible 
to cross the river at this spot in the face of the enemy. At length 
a ford was discovered higher up, and Xenophon, by skilful strategy, 
effected the passage. This must have been at a short distance from 
Tilleh, as the river, narrowed between rocky banks, is no longer 
fordable higher up. The Greeks came upon the Centritis soon 
after leaving the Carduchian mountains. 

The direct and most practicable road would now have been along 
the river banks to Bitlisf, but owing to the frequent incursions of 
the Carduchi, the villages in that direction had been abandoned, 
and the Greeks were compelled to turn to the westward, to find 
provisions and habitations. Still there was no road into Ar- 
nieni.i, particuhirly at this time of year, for an army encum- 
bered with baggage, except that through the Bitlis valley. The 

• It is a matter of surprij^e that Cyrus should have chosen the very middle 
i'i ««uniiner for liis ex|R'dition into Hahyhinia, aud still more wonderful that the 
(*rc»kN unu?c<l to the intense heats of Meso{>otamia, and encumbered with their 
h«.-.«% y arms and armour, should have been able to brave the climate. No 
'I urki*h (»r Persian commander would in these days venture to undertake a 
campaii^n a;iuinst the Arabs in this season of the year; for, besides the heat, the 
want of water would be almost an insurmountable obstacle. During their 
rvtrvdt, the (ireeks had to encounter all the rigor of an Armenian winter; so 
that, during the tew months they were under arms, they went through the most 
trying extremen of clininte. The expedition of Alexander was also under- 
taken in the middle of summer. It must, however, be borne in mintl, that Me- 
«^'{f»taniia was probably then thickly peopled and well cultivated, and that 
cjuialu and wells of water must have abounded. 

t That by Sert parses over very precipitous mountains, and is only now 
taken by caravans, K'cause it is more secure than the other, and leads through 
a towo in which there is ftomc trade. 


remains of an ancient causeway are even now to be traced, and 
this probably has always been the great thoroughfare between 
western Armenia and the Assyrian plains. Xenophon consequently 
made nearly the same detour as I had made on my journey from 

Six marches, of five parasangs each, brought them to the small 
river Teleboas. I am convinced that this river cannot be identified 
with the Kara Su, which would be at least between forty and fifty 
parasangs, or from eight to ten days' march, from Tilleh, supposing 
Xenophon to have made the smallest possible deviation to the west. 
I believe the Teleboas to have been the river of Bitlis.* After 
crossing the low country of Kherzan, well described by Xenophon 
as " a plain varied by hills of an easy ascent," the Greeks must neces- 
sarily have turned slightly to the eastward to reach the Bitlis valley, 
as inaccessible mountains stopped all further progress. My caravan 
was thirty-three hours in journeying from Bitlis to Tilleh, corre- 
sponding exactly with the six days' march of the Greeks. They 
probably came to the river somewhat below the site of the modem 
town, where it well deserves the epithet of " beautiful." It may 
have then had, as at this day, many villages near its banks. It will 
be observed that Xenophon says that they came to^ not that they 
crossedy the Teleboas. 

From this river they reached the Euphrates in six marches, 
making, as usual, five parasangs each day ; in all, thirty parasangs, 
or hours. Now from the Kara Su to the Euphrates, even suppos- 
ing the Greeks to have gone far to the eastward out of the direct 
route on the plain of Malaskert, there would scarcely be twenty 
parasangs, whereas the high road from Bitlis to Northern Armenia 
would lead in exactly thirty hours, or six marches, to the Euphrates, 
which it crosses near Karaghal. I believe, therefore, that, after 
issuing from the valley of Bitlis, Xenophon turned to the westward, 
leaving the lake of Wan a little to the right, though completely 
concealed from him by a range of low hill8.f Skirting the western 
foot of the Nimroud Dagh range, he passed through a plain 
thickly inhabited, abounding in well-provisioned villages, and 
crossed here and there by ranges of hills. This country still tal- 
lies precisely with Xenophon's description. 

♦ It must be borne in mind that the river of Bitlis joins the Sert Su before 
it falls into the main branch of the Tigris at Tilleh, and might therefore, under 
a different name, have appeared another river to Xenophon. 

t Hai^l he seen this large inland sea, he would probably have mentioned it. 


We have not, I conceive, sufficient data in Xenophon's narrative 
to identify with any degree of certainty his route after crossing the 
Euphrates. We know that about twenty parasangs from that 
river the Greeks encamped near a hot spring, and this spring might 
be recognised in one of the many which abound in the country. 
It is most probable that the Greeks took the road still used by 
caravans through the plains of Hinnis and Hassan- Kalah, as offering 
the fewest difficulties. But what rivers are we to identify with the 
Phnsis and Harpasus, the distance between the Euphrates and Phasis 
l>cing seventy parasangs, and between the Phasis and Harpasus 
ninety-five, and the Harpasus being the larger of the two rivers? 
I cannot admit that the Greeks turned to the west, and passed 
near the site of the modern Erzeroom. There are no rivers in that 
direction to answer the description of Xenophon. •Moreover, the 
Greeks came to the high mountain, and beheld the sea for the first 
time, at the distance of thirty-two parasangs from Trebizond. Had 
they taken either of the three modem roads from Erzeroom to the 
coa^t, and there are no others, they must have seen the Euxine in 
the immediate vicinity of Trebizond, certainly not more than six or 
eight pnrasangs from that city. I am on the whole inclined to be- 
lieve, that either the Greeks took a very tortuous course after leaving 
the Euphrates, making daily but little actual progress towards the end of their arduous journey, the sea coast, or that there 
i.-i a con-iifJcraUle error in the amount of parasangs given by Xeno- 
j»hon ; that the Harpasus must be the Tcherouk, and the Pli.isis 
either the Araxes or the Kur '; and that Mount Thechcs, the holy 
mountain from whidi the Greeks behekl the sea, was between 
I>:itoun and Trebizond, the army having followed the valley of the 
T«:h<roiik, but leaving it before reaching the site of the modern 
jH.rt on the l>laek Soa. 

• In n**^.!^. howrvor, wouM a <//rrrMine of marrli between these two rivers, 
T'-r N*iw.Mn nuv ntli.-r two rivers which ran possibly* aII^wer to his description, 
t^lv tiiih the ili-tanres j^iven by Xeuophon. 


mound, and had uncovered several interesting bas-reliefs, which I 
have already described from his own account of his discoveries.* 
That gentleman had, to my great regret, left Mosul. Since his 
departure the excavations had been placed under the charge of 
Mr. Rassam, the English vice-consul, who was directed by the 
Trustees of the British Museum to employ a small number of men, 
rather to retain possession of the spot, and to prevent interference 
on the part of others, than to carry on extensive operations. Toma 
Shishman, or " the Fat," was still the overseer of the workmen, 
and accompanied me on my first visit to the ruins. 

Hut little change had taken place in the great mound since I 
had last seen it. It was yellow and bare, as it always is at this 
time of the year. Heaps of earth marked the site of former exca- 
vations, the chambers first discovered having been again completely 
buried with rubbish. Of the sculptured walls laid bare two years 
before no traces now remained. The trenches dug under Mr. 
Ross's directions, in the southern corner, opposite the town of 
Mosul, were still open. It was evident at a glance that the 
chambers he had entered did not, as he had been led to suppose, 
belong to a second palace. They formed part of the same great 
edifice once standing on this angle of the mound, and already 
partly explored. The style of the bas-reliefs, and of the inscrip- 
tion?!, marked them at once a;< of tlie same ci)ocli as those previously 
di-^ovcred. They belongCMl to tlie same king, and also recorded 
\i\:? '.var-i and his triumphs. The same great fire, too, whicli had 
ri'j<^<\ in the rcj^t of the bulldlnir, turning the sculptured panelling 
to linir, (lefacinjT the ancient records, and reducinjj the edifice to 
a luap of ashes and rubbish, had done its work here. But four 
rr five feet remained of the bas-reliefs once coverinjj the walls of 
§un -dried bricks to the height of eiglit or nine, and even these 
fniLMnents were generally too much ilefaccd to admit of minute 
d* r^^riplion. 

The walls of two chambers had been laid bare. In onef? the 
lower port of a long series of sculptures was still partly i)reserved, 
I'Ut the upper had been completely destroyed, the very alabaster 
it-^ If having disiippcarc<l. The bas-reliefs recorded the subjection 
bv the A^svrian kinj; of a nation inhabiting; the banks of a river. 
The (*aptiv<' women are distinguished l)y long embroidered robes 
fringc^^l with tassels, and the castles have a peculiar wedge-shaped 

• S»'C Xint'voh and it:* ncriiain", v(»l. ii. j>. 131*. 
t No. LI. rian I. 

r 2 


ornament on tlie walls. The towns probably stood in the midst 
of marshes, as they appear to be surrounded by canes or reeds, as 

well ns by groves of palm trees. The Assyrians having capture 
the strong places by escalade, carried the inhabitants into captivity, 
and drove away cattle, camels, and carts drawn by oxen. Some 
of the men bear large baskets of osier wort, and the women vases 
or cauldrons. The king, standing in his chariot, attended by 
his warriors, and preceded by an eunuch registering the number of 
prisoners and the amount of the spoil, receives the conquered chiefs. 
Not a vestige of inscription remains to record the name of the 
Tanquished people; but we may conjecture, from the river and 
the palm trees, that they inhabited some district in southern Meso- 
potamia. They were, probably, one of the numerous Arab tribes 
who lived in the marshes formed by the Euphrates and Tigris, and 
took advantage, as their descendants do to this day, of their almost 
inaccessible position in the midst of vast swamt>s to be in continual 
rebellion against the supreme government. Many of these tribes, it 
will hereafter be seen, are mentioned amongst the southern con- 
quests of the king who built the palace. In the southern wall of 
this chamber was a doorway formed by plain, upright slabs of 
a close-grained magnesian limestone, almost as hard as flint ; 
between them were two email, crouching lions, in the usual 





1 ' I 'l *„ --^ . pj- 

#/ /■ 

f'ty-" f i^ "^ ^ '/■ 



ibftster. This entrance led into a further room, of which only a 
nail part had been explored.* The walls were panelled with 
wealptured slabs of the same compact limestone. 
The sculptured remains hitherto discovered in the mound of 
ouyunjik had been reached by digging down to them from the 
vfiftce, and then removing the rubbish. After the departure of 
Ir. Ross, the accumulation of earth above the ruins had become 
i considerable, frequently exceeding thirty feet, that the work- 
cn, to avoid the labor of clearing it away, began to tunnel 
OBg the wails, sinking shafts at intervals to admit light and air. 
lie hardness of the soil, mixed with pottery, bricks, and remains 
f buildings raised at various times over the buried ruins of 
• Assyrian palace, rendered this process easy and safe with 
Anary care and precaution. The subterraneous passages were 
now, and were propped up wlien necessary either by leaving 
Imnns of earth, as in mines, or by wooden beams. These long 
iBeries, dimly lighted, lined with the remains of ancient art, broken 
IM projecting from the crumbling sides, and the wild Arab and 
wdj Xestorian wandering through their intricacies, or working 
; li^ir dark recesses, were singularly picturesque. 
Toma Shishman had removed the workmen from the southern 
mer of the mound, where the sculptures were much injured, 
id had opened tunnels in a part of the building previously ex- 
ored, commencing where I had left off on my departure from 
[osuLf I descended into the vaulled passages by an inclined 
■y, through which the workmen issued from beneath to throw 
ray the ruhbish dug out from the ruins. At the bottom I found 
yself before a wall forming the southern side of the great Hall, 
•eovered, though only partly explored, during my former rc- 
•rches. J The sculptures, faintly seen through the gloom, were 
ill well enough preserved to give a complete history of the 
llject n^presented, although, with the rest of the bas-reliefs of 
!<Wiyunjik, the fire had nearly turned them to lime, and had 
!lcked them into a thousand pieces. The faces of the slabs 
id been entirely covered with figures, varying from three inches 

♦Ko. Llir. PlanL 

t At No. VI. same plan. * The cbambers marked with letters in the Plan of 

^junjik in the 2tl vol. of " Nineveh and its Remains," are distinguished, for 

•venienee of general referenee, by numl>ers in Plan I. of tliis work, which in- 

fcdet all those excavated durlnjj the first expedition, as well as those discovered 

ttinjf the second : the letters arc, however, also inserted. 

I No. VI. Plan I. 

F 3 


to one foot in height, carefully finished, and designed with great 

Ill this series of bas-reliefs the history of an Assyrian conquest 
was more fully portrayed than in any other yet discovered, from 
the going out of the monarch to battle, to his triumphal return 
after a complete victory. The first part of the subject has already 
been described in my former work.* The king, accompanied by 
his chariots and horsemen, and leaving his capital in the As- 
syrian plains, passed through a mountainous and wooded district, t 
He does not appear to have been delayed by the siege of many 
towns or castles, but to have carried the war at once into the 
high country. His troops, cavalry and infantry, are represented 
in close combat with their enemies, pursuing them over hills and 
through valleys, beside streams, and in the midst of vineyards. 
The Assyrian horsemen are armed with the spear and the bow, 
using both weapons whilst at full speed : their opponents seem to be 
all archers. The vanquished turn to ask for quarter ; or, wounded, 
fall under the feet of the advancing horses, raising their hands im- 
ploringly to ward off the impending deathblow. The triumph fol- 
lows. The king standing in his chariot, beneath the royal parasol, 
followed by long lines of dismounted warriors leading richly capa- 
risoned horses, and by foot soldiers variously armed and accoutred, 
is receiving the captives and spoil taken from the conquered people. 
First approach the victorious warriors, throwing the heads of 
the slain into heaps before the registering officers. They are 
followed by others leading, and urging onwards with staves, the 
prisoners — men chained together, or bound singly in fetters, and 
women, some on foot, carrying their children on their shoulders, 
and leading them by the hand, others riding on mules. The 
procession is finished by asses, mules, and flocks of sheep. As on 
the bas-reliefs uncovered by Mr. Boss, there is unfortunately no 
inscription by which the name of the conquered people can be 
determined. We are left to conjecture the site of the country 
they inhabited from its natural features, rudely portrayed in the 
bas-reliefs, or from notices that may hereafter — on a better ac- 
quaintance with the cuneiform character — be found in the great 
inscriptions on the bulls containing the history of the wars of the 

* Nineveh and its Remains, rol. ii. p. 134. 

f The long lines of variously armed troops, described in my former work 
(vol. ii. p. 134.) as covering several slabs from top to bottom, form the army of 
the king marching to this campaign. Monuments of Nineveh, Plate 81. 


A^yrian king. The mountains, valleys, and streams, the vines 
and dwarf oaks, probably indicate a region north of Assyria, in 
Armenia, Media, or Kurdistan, countries we know to have been 
invaded by the royal builder of the palace. The dress of the men 
consists of a short tunic ; that of the women, of a shirt falling to 
the ankles, and cut low in front of the neck.* 

In the side of the hall sculptured with these bas-reliefs was a wide 
portal, formed by a pair of gigantic human-headed bulls.t They 
bad suffered, like all those previously discovered, from the fire, and 
the upper part, the wings and human head, had been completely 
destroyed. The lower half had, however, escaped, and the inscrip- 
tions were consequently nearly entire. Joined to the forepart of 
the bulls were four small figures, two on each side, and one above the 
other. They had long hair, falling in large and massive curls on their 
shoulders, wore short tunics descending to the knee, and held a 
pole topped by a kind of cone in one hand, raising the other as in 
act of adoration4 At right angles with the slabs bearing these 
sculptures were colossal figures carrying the oft-repeated cone and 

In this entrance a well, cut through the large pavement slab 
between the bulls, was afterwards discovered. It contained broken 
pottery, not one vase having been taken out whole, apparently 
human remain?, and some fragments of calcined sculptured alabaster ^ 
evidently detached from the bas-reliefs on the walls. It is doubt- 
ful whether this well was sunk after the Assyrian ruins had been 
buried, or whetlier it had been from the earliest times a place of 
dej)o:*it fur tlie dead. The remains of bas-reliefs found in it, at a 
cousicKrable depth, show that it must liavc been filled up alter the 
dc»trueliou of the Assyrian palace; and, as no such wells exist 
in ffiinilar entrances, 1 am inclined to believe that, like many 
others di.-H:overed during the excavations, it had been made by 
lh«»e who built on the mound above the ancient ruins. When 
frinkin^ the shaft they probably met with the pavement slab, 
and cut tliruugli it. It appears to have been afterwards choked 
bv ilie lallln;^ in of the rubbish throu^^h which it had been 

• Two |»late.4 from thesi* s]>irite«l sculptures are jrivcn in the 2tl series of the 
M'»numciits of Nineveh, Plat<.-d 37. 38. They rei>re»eut the battle, and part of 
th*' triiiuiph. 

t Kntrjmrk. Xo. VI. Plan I. 

♦ On,- *u. h figure hai Keen phire<l in the Driti.-h Museum, an«l see *2«1 series 
of the Munuuicnl.1 uf Nine\ eh, Plated. 

r 4 


carried, and hence the fragments of sculptured alabaster mixed 
with the broken pottery. Being unable to support its crumbling 
sides, I was obliged to abandon the attempt after digging to the 
depth of about fifteen feet. 

A small doorway to the right of the portal formed by the 
winged bulls, led into a further chamber*, in which an entrance 
had been found into a third room f, whose walls had been com- 
pletely uncovered. Its dimensions were 26 feet by 23, and it 
had but this one outlet, flanked on either side by two colossal 
figures, whose lower extremities alone remained, the upper part 
of the slabs having been destroyed : one appeared to have been 
eagle-headed, with the body of a man, and the other a monster, 
with human head and the feet of a lion. The bas-reliefs round 
the chamber represented the siege of a castle standing on an arti- 
ficial mound, surrounded at its base by houses. The besieged 
defended themselves on the walls and turrets with bows, spears, 
and stones. The Assyrian army was composed of spearmen, 
slingers, and bowmen, some of whom had already gained the 
housetops. Male and female captives had been taken and heads 
cut off; the victorious warriors according to custom, and pro- 
bably to claim a reward X , bringing them to the registrars. The 
led horses and body-guard of the king was still preserved, but 
that part of the bas-relief containing the monarch himself, pro- 
bably standing in his chariot, had been destroyed. In the back 
ground were wooded mountains ; vines and other trees formed a 
distinct band in the middle of the slabs; and a river ran at the 
foot of the mound. The dress of the male prisoners consisted 
either of a long robe falling to the ankles, or of a tunic reaching to 
the knees, over which was thrown an outer garment, apparently 
made of the skins of animals, and they wore greaves laced up in 
front. The women were clothed in a robe descending to the feet, 
with an outer fringed garment thrown over the shoulders; a 
kind of hood or veil covered the back of the head, and fell over 
the neck. Above the castle was the fragment of an inscription 
in two lines, containing the name of the city, of which unfor- 
tunately the first character is wanting. It reads : " The city of 
. . . alammo I attacked and captured ; I carried away its spoil." No 

• No. Xin. Plan I. t No. XIV. same plan. 

X It is still the custom in Persia, and was so until lately in Turkey, for soldiers 
to bring the heads of the slain to their officers after a battle, and to claim a small 
pecuniary reward. 


Dame^ however, corresponding with it has yet been found In the 
royal annals, and we can only infer, from the nature of the 
country represented, that the place was in a mountainous district 
to the north of Assyria.* It is remarkable that in this chamber, 
as in others afterwards explored, some of the slabs (those adjoining 
the entrance) had been purposely defaced, every vestige of sculp- 
ture having been carefully removed by a sharp instrument. 

Returning to the great hall, I found that a third outlet had 
been discovered, opening, however, to the west. This entrance 
had been guarded by six colossal figures, three on each side. The 
upper part of all of them had been destroyed. They appear to 
have been eagle-headed and Hon -headed monsters, f 

This doorway led into a narrow passage, one side of which had 
alone been excavated ; on it was represented the siege of a walled 
city, divided into two parts by a river. One half of the place 
had been captured by the Assyrians, who had gained possession 
of the towers and battlements, but that on the opposite bank of 
the stream was still defended by slingers and bowmen. Against 
its walls had been thrown banks or mounds, built of stones, bricks, 
and branches of trees, f The battering-rams, covered with skins 
or hides looped together, had been rolled up these inclined ways, 
and had already made a breach in the fortifications. Archers and 
spearmen were hurrying to the assault, whilst others were driving 
(itf the captives, and carrying away the idols of the enemy. The 
drc!JS of the male pri:?oners consisted of a plain under shirt, an 
uj'per garment falling below the knees, divided in the front 
anl buttoned at the neck, and laced greaves. Their hair and 
beanln were ^horter and le."?s ehiborutely curled than those of the 
A«c*'yriiins«. The women were distin«^iiished by high rounded 
turl.:inj*, ornamented with plaits or folJs. A veil fell from the 
back of tiiiri over the shoulders. § No inscription re- 
njuiiK-d to record the name of the vanquished nation. Their 
ciU'tles .-tood in a wooded and mountainous country, and their 

• As imirli of th(? I »ai»- relief!* as could he moved U now in the liritish 
MuMMim ; MM* also 2d iRTJes <»f tlie Mouuiueiits ot" Nineveh, Plate S\). 

t Kill ranee i. No. \l. IMan I. 

J Fur an a«rouijt of the>e njounds reprei'ente<l in the Assyrian sculptures, and 
th«- manner in wliii h ihey illustrate various pas^s^ages in Scripture, see my Ninc- 
\iU and its Heniain", vol ii. p. 3(17. and mtte. 

§ Such \* ihe ctH'tunie of the women in !«hips in a bas-relief discovereil during 
my former re*«*ar<he» ("ee Nineveh and its Kemains V()l. ii. p. 121). and Muiiu- 
mcrit» *>( Nin<'veh, i'lateTl.), and which, I have conjectured, ujay represent 
tic cupiure of Tyre or Sidun. 


peculiar costume^ and the river passing through the centre of their 
chief city, may help hereafter to identify them. 

The opposite side of this narrow chamber, or passage, was 
shortly afterwards uncovered. The bas-reliefs on its walls re- 
presented the king in his chariot, preceded and followed by his 
warriors. The only remarkable feature in the sculptures was the 
highly decorated trappings of the horses, whose bits were in the 
form of a horse at full speed. 

Such were the discoveries that had been made during my 
absence. There could be no doubt whatever that all the chambers 
hitherto excavated belonged to one great edifice, built by one and 
the same king. I have already shown how the bas-reliefs of 
Kouyunjik differed from those of the older palaces of Nimroud, 
but closely resembled those of Khorsabad in the general treat- 
ment, in the costumes of the Assyrian warriors, as well as of the 
nations with whom they warred, and in the character of the 
ornaments, inscriptions, and details. Those newly uncovered 
were, in all thgse respects, like the bas-reliefs found before my 
departure, and upon which I had ventured to form an opinion as 
to the respective antiquity and origin of the various ruins hitherto 
explored in Assyria. The bas-reliefs of Nimroud, the reader may 
remember, were divided into two bands or friezes by inscriptions ; 
the subject being frequently confined to one tablet, or slab, and 
arranged with some attempt at composition, so as to form a sepa- 
rate picture. At Kouyunjik the four walls of a chamber were 
generally occupied by one series of sculptures, representing a con- 
secutive history, uninterrupted by inscriptions, or by the divisions 
in the alabaster panelling. Figures, smaller in size than those of 
Nimroud, covered from top to bottom the face of slabs, eight or nine 
feet high, and sometimes of equal breadth. 

The sculptor could thus introduce more action, and far more 
detail, into his picture. He aimed even at conveying, by rude 
representations of trees, valleys, mountains, and rivers, a general 
idea of the natural features of the country in which the events 
recorded took place. A chamber thus generally contained the 
whole story of a particular war, from the going out of the king 
to his triumphal return. These pictures, including a kind of 
plan of the campaign, add considerably to the interest of the 
monuments, and allow us to restore much of the history of 
the period. They will probably also enable us to identify the 
sculptured records with the descriptive accounts contained in the 


great inscriptions carved upon the bulls, at the various entrances 
to the palace, and embracing a general chronicle of the reign of 
the king. At Kouyunjik there were probably few bas-reliefs, par- 
ticularly those containing representations of castles and cities, that 
were not accompanied by a short epigraph or label, giving the name 
of the conquered king and country, and even the names of the 
principal prisoners, especially if royal personages. Unfortunately 
these inscriptions having been usually placed on the upper part of 
the slabs, which has very rarely escaped destruction, but few of 
them remain. These remarks should be borne in mind to enable 
the reader to understand the descriptions of the excavated cham- 
bers at Kouyunjik, which will be given in the following pages in the 
order that they were discovered. 

I lost no time in making arrangements for continuing the exca- 
vations with as much activity as the funds granted to the Trustees 
of the British Museum would permit. Toma Shishman was placed 
over Kouyunjik ; Mansour, Behnan (the marble cutter), and Hannah 
(the ciirpenter), again entered my service. Ali Bahal, a sheikh of 
the Jubours, who, hearing of my return, had hastened to Mosul, 
was sent to the desert to collect such of my old workmen from 
his tribe as were inclined to re-enter my service. He was ap- 
pointed " sheikh of the mound," and duly invested with the cus- 
tomary robe of honor on the occasion. 

The accumulation of soil above the ruins was so great, that I 
dctcriniiicd to continue the tunnelling, removing only as much 
eartii as wa^ nece^^ary to siiuw the sculptured walls. But to 
racllit.ue tlic labor of the workmen, and to avoid the necessity of 
ihcir leaving the tunnels to empty their ba?*kets, I made a number 
of rude triangles and wooden pulleys, by which the excavated 
rubbi.-li cuuld be raised by ropes through the shafts, sunk at 
interval? for this purpose, as well as to admit light and air. One 
or two passages then sufHced for the workmen to descend into the 
subterranean «:alleries. 

.Many of tlic Nestorians formerly in my service as diggers, 
havin;^ also heard of my intended return, had left their mountains, 
and had joined me a day or two after my arrival. There were 
JeiM>urs enough in the immediate neighbourhood of the town to 
make up four or five gangs of excavators, and I placed parties at 
once in the galleries already opened, in different parts of Kou- 
yunjik not previously explored, and at a high mound in the north- 
west walls, funning one side of the great inelosurc opposite 


Mosul — a ruin which I had only partially examined during my 
previous visit* 

During the spring of this year Colonel Williams, the British 
commissioner for the settlement of the disputed boundaries between 
Turkey and Persia, had visited Mosul on his way to Baghdad, 
and had kindly permitted Lieutenant Glascott, R.N., the engineer 
of the commission, to make a careful survey of Kouyunjik. His 
plan, into which the excavations subsequently made have been in- 
troduced, will show the position of the palace and the general 
form of the mound. f The shape of this great ruin is very irre- 
gular; nearly square at the S.W. corner, it narrows almost to 
a point at the N. E. The palace occupies the southern angle. 
At the opposite, or northern, extremity are the remains of the 
village of Kouyunjik, from which the mound takes its name.f 
From this spot a steep road leads to the plain, forming the only 
access to the summit of the mound for loaded animals or cart^, 
Nearly midway between the ruined village and the excavations 
is a small whitewashed Mussulman tomb, surmounted by a 
dome, belonging to some sheikh, or holy man, whose memory 
and name have long passed away. A little beyond it, to the 
south-west, the level of the mound rises above that of any other 
part ; in consequence probably of the ruins of ancient buildings, 
belonging to a period preceding the Arab conquest, though 
still erected over the older Assyrian edifices. Beyond it, to 
the north, the level is considerably below that part of the mound 
which covers the remains of the excavated palace. To the 
south of the tomb the platform suddenly sinks, leaving a semi- 
circular ridge, resembling an amphitheatre. There are ravines 
on all sides of Kouyunjik, except that facing the Tigris. If 
not entirely worn by the winter rains, they have, undoubt- 
edly, been deepened and increased by them. They are strewed 
with fragments of pottery, bricks, and sometimes stone and 
burnt alabaster, whilst the falling earth frequently discloses in 
their sides vast masses of solid brick masonry, which fall in 
when undermined by the rains. Through these ravines are 
carried the steep and narrow pathways leading to the top of the 
mound. As they reach far into the ruins, frequently laying bare 

• See Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i. p. 144., for a description of the dis- 
coveries previously made in this mound. 

t See General Plan of the mound of Kouyunjik, in corner of Plan L 
J " The little sheep." Kouyunjik is, however, generally known to the Arabs 
by the name of Armousheeyah. 

Ckaf. fV.] KIAMIL PASHA. 77 

the very foundations of the artificial platform of earth on which the 
edifices were erected, they afford the best places to commence ex- 
perimental tunnels. 

The Khauser winds round the eastern base of Kouyunjik, and 
leaving it near the angle occupied by the ruins of the palace, runs 
in a direct line to the Tigris. Although a small and sluggish 
stream, it has worn for itself a deep bed, and is only fordable near 
the mound immediately below the southern corner, where the 
direct road from Mosul crosses it, and at the northern extremity 
where a flour mill is turned by its waters. After rain it becomes 
an impetuous torrent, overflowing its banks, and carrying all before 
it. It then rises very suddenly, and as suddenly subsides. The 
Tigris now flows about half a mile from the mound, but once 
undoubtedly washed its base. Between them is a rich alluvium 
deposited by the river during its gradual retreat; it is always 
under cultivation, and is divided into corn fields, and melon and 
cucumber beds.* In this plain stands the small modern village 
of Kouyunjik, removed for convenience from its ancient site on 
the summit of the mound. Bound the foot of the platform are 
thickly scattered fragments of pottery, brick, and stone, fallen 
from the ruins above. 

In Mosul 1 had to call upon the governor, and renew my ac- 
quaintance with the principal inhabitants, whose good will was in 
some way necessary to the pleasant, if not succcosful, prosecution 
of my labors. Kianiil Pavslia had been lately named to the pashalic. 
He was tiie sixth or seventh pasha wlio had been appointed since 
I had left, for it is one of the bancs of Turkish administration that, 
as s<H)n a^ an officer becomes acquainted with the country he is 
sent to fr«^>vern, and obtains any influence over its inhabitants, he is 
recalled to make room for a new ruler. Kiamil had been ainbas- 
smlor at Berlin, and had visited several European courts. 1 1 is 
manners were eminently courteous and polished ; his intelligence, 

• Th«^ river Ti«rri!» flow^ in thi? part of Its course, urn] until it reaches Saimar- 
rah, <•!! iIm' ronfin"*?* of Habvlonia. throiijxli a vall«*y varyinpj from one to two 
null*-* in wi'ltli, l>oun«UMl on l)otli si<los by low limestone and cont^lonierate hills. 
It- U'l lia-i heen un<lerj;oinj^ a continual an<l re;;ul:ir chan;;e. When it reaches 
ihf liilN ''U one ««l«le, it is thrown hack hy this harrier, an<l creeps jn'-'^'hially to 
th»* «»p|w»«itc !«i<le, leavinjT a rich alluvial soil cpiickly covered with jungle. 
Till* prtM-e*-* it has lK?en rc|>eating, backwards and forwanls, for countless 
»jre*, and will continue to rc|K*at as lonjr as it drains the preat highlands of 
Arofnia. At Niniroud it is now ;jrraduf»lly returning to the ba'<e of the mound, 
whi«h it d»**trt«'d f^mw thn-c thousand years agt) ; but centuries must elapse Ik!- 
fore it call w«»rk its way that far. 


and, what is of far more importance in a Turkish governor, his 
integrity, were acknowledged. His principal defects were great 
inactivity and indolence, and an unfortunate irritability of temper, 
leading him to do foolish and mischievous things, of which he ge- 
nerally soon found cause to repent. He offered a very favorable 
contrast to the Pasha who received me on my visit to Mosul in 
1847, and who, by the way, notwithstanding a decree of the supreme 
council condemning him to death for his numerous misdeeds, but 
not carried into execution in consequence of the misdirected 
humanity of the Sultan, had been recently appointed to a comfor- 
table pashalic in Asia Minor, far from consuls and other trouble- 
some checks upon his tyranny and extortion. Our right to ex- 
cavate was now too well established to admit of question, and 
my visit to the Pasha was rather one of friendship than of duty. 
I had known him at the capital, where he held a high post in the 
council of state, and at Belgrade, when governor there during 
troublous times. 

Soon after my arrival, my old friends Sheikh Abd-ur-rahraan, of 
the Abou Salman, and Abd-rubbou, chief of the Jebours, rode into 
the town to see me. The former complained bitterly of poverty: 
his claims upon Mohammed Pasha, although recognised by the 
government, had not been paid, and by the new system of local 
administration introduced into the pashalic since my departure, 
his old pasture grounds near Nimroud had been taken from his 
tribe, and made " miri," or public property. The Jebours, under 
Abd-rubbou, were encamping in the desert to the south of Mosul. 
He offered to accompany me to Kalah Sherghat, or to any other 
ruin I might wish to examine, and a silk robp cemented our former 

I had scarcely settled myself in the town, when Cawal Yusuf 
came in from Baadri, with a party of Yezidi Cawals, to invite me, 
on the part of Hussein Bey and Sheikh Nasr, to the annual festival 
at Sheikh Adi. The invitation was too earnest to be refused, nor 
was, I sorry to have this occasion of meeting the principal ohiefs of 
the sect assembled together, of explaining to them what had oc- 
curred at Constantinople, and of offering them a few words of 
advice as to their future conduct. The Jebour workmen, too, had 
not yet moved their tents to Nimroud or Mosul, and the excava- 
tions had consequently not been actively resumed. 

I was accompanied in this visit by my own party, with the ad- 
dition of Mr. Bassam, the vice-consul, and his dragoman. We rode 
the first day to Baadri, and were met on the road by Hussein Bey 


and a large company of Yezidi horsemen. Sheikh Nasr had 
already gone to the tomb, to make ready for the ceremonies. The 
young chief entertained us for the night, and on the following 
morning, an hour after sunrise, we left the village for Sheikh Adi, 
At some distance from the sacred valley we were met by Sheikh 
Nasr, Pir Sino, the Cawals, the priests, and the chiefs. They 
conducted us to the same building in the sacred grove that I had 
occupied on my former visit. The Cawals assembled around us 
and welcomed our coming on their tambourines and flutes ; and 
soon about us was formed one of those singularly beautiful and 
picturesque groups which I have attempted to describe in my pre- 
vious account of the Yezidi festival.* 

The Yezidis had assembled in less numbers this year than when 
I had last met them in the valley. Only a few of tlie best armed 
of the people of the Sinjar had ventured to face the dangers of the 
road now occupied by the Bedouins, Abde Agha and his ad- 
herents were fully occupied in defending their villages ngainet the 
Arab marauders, who, although repulsed after we quitted Semil, 
were still hanging al)out the district, bent upon revenge. The 
Kochers, and the tribes of Dereboun, were kept away by the same 
fears. The inhabitants of Kherzan and Red wan were harrassed by 
the conscription. Even the people of Baashcikhah and Baazani had 
been so much vexed by a recent visit from the Pasha that they 
had no heart for festivities. His Excellency not fostering feelings 
of the most friendly nature towards Naniik Pasha, the new com- 
niandir-in-<*]iicf of Arabia, who was passing through Mosul on his 
way to the liead-quarters of the anny at Baghdad, and unwilling to 
entiTtain liim, was suddenly taken ill and retired for the benefit of 
his health to Baasheikhah. On the morning after his arrival he 
complained that the asses by their braying during the night had 
allowed him no rest ; and the asses were accordingly peremptorily 
bani.-lK*d from the village. The dawn of the next day wjis an- 
nnuiKHMl, to the great discomfort of his Excellency, who had no 
intcrc-t in the matter, by the cocks ; and the irregular troops who 
fornn d his l:K>dy-guard were innnediately incited to a general 
flaii^xlitcr of the race. The third night his sleep was disturbed 
by the erying of the children, who, with their mothers, were 
at once Incked up, fur the rest of his sojourn, in the cellars. On 
the r»urth he was awoke at daylncik by the chirping of sparrows, 

• Ninovch an<l its Ilonmin^ vol. i. cli. ix. 


and every gun in the village was ordered to be brought out 
to wage a war of extermination against them. But on the fifth 
morning his rest was sorely broken by the flies, and the enraged 
Pasha insisted upon their instant destruction. The Kiayah, who, 
as chief of the village, had the task of carrying out the Governor's 
orders, now threw himself at hb Excellency's feety exclaiming, 
** Your Highness has seen that all the animals here, praise be to 
God, obey our Lord the Sultan ; the infidel flies alone are rebel- 
lious to his authority. I am a man of low degree and small power, 
and can do nothing against them ; it now behoves a great Vizir 
like your Highness to enforce the commands of our Lord and 
Master.'' The Pasha, who relished a joke, forgave the flies, but 
left the village. 

I have already so fully described the general nature of the an- 
nual festival at Sheikh Adi, and the appearance of the valley on 
that occasion, that I shall confine myself to an account of such 
ceremonies as I was^ow permitted to witness for the first time. 

About an hour after sunset, Cawal Yusuf summoned Hormuzd 
and myself, who were alone allowed to be present, to the inner 
yard, or sanctuary, of the Temple. We were placed in a room 
from the windows of which we could see all that took place in 
the court. The Qawals, Sheikhs, Fakirs, and principal chiefs 
were already assembled. In the centre of the court was an iron 
lamp, with four burners — a simple dish with four lips for the wicks, 
Bupi>orted on a sharp iron rod driven into the ground. Near it 
stood a Fakir, holding in one hand a lighted torch, and in the other 
a larji^e vessel of oil, from which he, from time to time, re- 
plenished the lamp, loudly invoking; Sheikh Adi. The Cawals 
stood against the wall on one si<le of the court, and commenced a 
slow chant, some playing on the flute, others on the tambourine, 
and accompanying the measure with their voices. The Sheikhs 
and chiefs now formed a procession, walking two by two. At 
their head was Slieikh Jindi. He wore a tall shaggy black cap, 
the hair of which hung far over the upper part of his face. A 
long roI>e, strijKid with horizontal stripes of black and dark red, 
fell tt> his feet. A countenance more severe, and yet more ini-» 
]x»oing, than that of Sheikh* Jindi could not well be pictured by 
the most fanciful imagination. A beard, black as jet, waved low 
on \iU breast ; his dark piercing eyes glittered through ragge<l cye- 
broi^s, like burning coals through the bars of a grate. The color 



of his f&ce was of the deepest browo, bis teeth white as enow, 
and his features, though stern bej'ond measure, singularly noble 
and well formed. It was a by-word with us that Sheikh Jindi 
bad never been seen to emile. To look at him wns to feel that a 
laugh could not bo bom in him. As he moved, with a slow 
and solemn step, the flickering lamp deepening the shadows of his 
solemn and rugged countenance, it would have been impcsaihie to 
conceive a being more eminently fitted to take the lead in cere- 
monies consecrated to the evil one. He is the Peeih-namaz, " the 
leader of prayer," to the Yezidi sect. Behind him were two vene- 
rable sheikha. They were followed by Hussein Rej and Sheikh 
Nasr, and the other chiefs and Sheikhs came after. Their long 

robes were all of the purest white. As they walked slowly round, 
sometmies stopping, then resuming their measured step, they 
chanted prayers in glory and honor of the Deity. The Cawals 


•ocompanied the chant with their flutes, beating at intervals the 
tambourines. Round the burning lamp, and within the circle formed 
by the procession, danced the Fakirs in their black dresses, with 
solemn pace timed to the music, raising and swinging to and fro 
their arms after the fashion of Eastern dancers, and placing them- 
selves in attitudes not less decorous than elegant. To hymns in 
praise of the Deity succeeded others in honor of Melek Isa and 
Sheikh Adi. The chants passed into quicker strains, the tam-' 
bourines were beaten more frequently, the Fakirs became more 
active in their motions, and the women made the loud tahlel, the 
ceremonies ending with that extraordinary scene of noise and ex- 
citement that I have attempted to describe in relating my first 
visit. When the prayers were ended, those who marched in pro- 
cession kissed, as they passed by, the right side of the doorway 
leading into the temple, where a serpent is figured on the wall ; 
but not, as I was assured, the image itself, which has no typical or 
other meaning, according to Sheikh Nasr and Cawal Yusuf. 
Hussein Bey then placing himself on the step at this entrance, 
received the homage of the Sheikhs and elders, each touching the 
hand of the young chief with his own, and raising it to his lips. 
All present, afterwards, gave one another the kiss of peace. 

The ceremonies having thus been brought to a close, Hussein 
Bov and Sheikh Nasr came to me, and led me into the inner court. 
CarjK'td had l>een spread at the doorway of the temple for myself 
and the two chiefs; the Sheikhs, Cawals, and princi[)al people of 
the sect, seated theiiiselvcs, or rather crouched, against the walls. 
By the li^ht of a lamp, dimly breaking the gloom within the 
tenii)le, I could pee Sheikii Jindi unrobing. During the prayers, 
priests were stationed at the doorway, and none were allowed to 
enter except a few women and girls : the wives and daughters of 
sheikhs and cawals had free access to the building, and appeared to 
join in the ceremonies. The Vice-Consul and Khodja Toma were 
now admitted, and took their places with us at the upper end of 
the court. Cawal Yu^uf was then called upon to give a full 
account of the ret«ult of his mission to Constantinople, which he 
did with the same detail, and almost in the same words, that he had 
UM^\ »i) frecjuently during our journey. After he had concluded, I 
endeavored to |)oint out to the chiefs that by the new con- 
ce«i»ions made to them, liberty of conscience and the enjoyment 
of pn»perty were, if not completely secured, at least fully rc- 

u 2 


cognised as their rights and that the great burdens to which the 
Yezidis had long been exposed were abolished. Their children 
could no longer be taken as slaves, and the Sultan had even 
ordered the liberation of those who were already in bondage.* 
Henceforward none would suffer torture or death for their reli- 
gion's sake. Whatever their objections to the conscription and 
military service, it was but reasonable that, as subjects of the Sul- 
tan, and as exempt from the capitation tax paid by Christians, they 
should be placed under the same laws as Mussulmans, and should 
serve the state. Such practices and food as were repugnant 
to them, the Grand Yisir had promised should not be forced 
upon those who were enrolled in the regular army. For the 
first time the Yezidis had been in direct communication with 
the Sultan's ministers, and had been formally recognised as one of 
the sects of the empire. They were to justify the good inten- 
tions of the Porte towards them by proving themselves loyal and 
faithful subjects. But, above all, they were to eschew internal 
quarrels, and to maintain peace and unity among the tribes, by which 
means alone they could defy their enemies. Their industry had 
already raised them above their Mohammedan and Christian neigh* 
hours, and now that additional protection was extended to them 
they might fairly hope to be wealthy and prosperous. It was finally 
agreed that letters of thanks, sealed by all the chiefs of the Yezidis, 
should be sent to the Grand Vizir, Reshid Pasha, for the reception 
given to the Yezidi deputation, and to Sir Stratford Canning for 
his generous intercession in their behalf. 

The private and domestic affairs of the sect were then dis- 
cussed, and various reforms proposed. The mode of contracting 
marriages required some change. The large sums of money de- 
manded by parents for their daughters had been the cause that 
many girls remained unmarried, a state of things rarely found 
in Eastern countries, and the source of loud complaints amongst 
the younger members of the community. Kassam suggested 
that the price paid to the father should be reduced, or he should 
encourage elopements, and give the fugitives the benefit of his 

* During my subsequent residence in Mosul, I was able, with the assist- 
ance of Mr. Rassam, the vice-consul, who always exerted himself zealously 
and most disin teres tedljr in the cause of humanity, to take from the verj harem 
of the Cadi, a Yezidi girl, who had been torn from her parents some time before, 
and had been compelled to embrace the Mohammedan religion. Such an un- 
usual proceeding had a great effect in the town. 


protection. The proposed alternative caused much merriment ; but 
one of the old Sheikhs of Baazani at once consented to take 
300 piasters (about 2L 10s.) for his daughter, instead of 3000, 
which he had previously asked. This led to several betrothals on 
the spot, amidst much mirth and great applause on the part of 
such young Cawals as were anxious to get married. It was 
nearly midnight before the assembly broke up. We then went 
into the outer court, where dances were kept up until late in 
the morning, by the light of torches; all the young men and 
women joining in the Debka. 

Soon after sunrise on the following morning the Sheikhs and 
Cawals offered up a short prayer in the court of the temple, but 
without any of the ceremonies of the previous evening. Some 
prayed in the sanctuary, frequently kissing the threshold and 
holy places within the building. When they had ended they 
took the green cloth covering from the tomb of Sheikh Adi, 
and, followed by the Cawals playing on their tambourines and 
flutes, walked with it round the outer court. The people flocked 
about them, and reverently carried the corner of the drapery 
to their lips, making afterwards a small offering of money. 
After the cover had been again thrown over the tomb, the 
chiefs and priests seated themselves round the inner court. The 
Fakirs and Sheikhs especially devoted to the service of the sanc- 
tuar}', who are called Kotcheks, now iesucd from the kitchens 
of the temj)le bearing large platters of smoking harUa*, which 
they placed on the ground. The company collected in hungry 
groups round the messes, and whilst they were eating, the Kotcheks 
standing by called upon them continually in a loud voice to par- 
take of the hospitality of Sheikh Adi. After the empty plates 
bsul been removed, a collection was made towards the support of 
the tem[)le and tomb of the saint. It is also customary for all 
families who come to the annual festival to send some dish as an 

• A mixture of bniiscd wheat, chopped meat, milk and curd«, boiled into a 
thick pulpy iiioik*, over which melted butter is fx)ured. It is a favorite dish in 
Syria and .Mi-9(>|»otaniia, and is cooked by faniilies on great festivaJH, or on 
certain days <»f the year, in consequence of vows made during sickness or in 
traveL On the>e (K-casions it is sent roand to friends, and distributed amongst 
the jKXff. Tlie wealthy sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, and it is then 
•p-t-eable to the taste, and palatable enough. It is sold early in the morning in 
U»e bazars of many Eastern towns. 

o 3 


offering to Sheikh Nasr. He merely tastes these contributions to 
show his acceptance of them, and they are then shared by the 
servants of the sanctuary. 

These ceremonies occupied us until nearly mid-day ; we then 
sat by the fountain in the Yalley, and the men and women 
danced before us, the boys climbing into the trees and hanging 
on the boughs to see the dancers. Sugar^ dates, and raisins were 
afterwards scrambled amongst the children. The men soon took 
part in the amusement. A party of Kurds, bringing grapes from 
the mountains to sell at the festival, were maliciously pointed out 
as good objects for a joke. The hint was no sooner given than 
they, their donkeys, and their grapes, were all rolled into one 
heap under a mountain of human beings. The Kurds, who 
were armed, resisted manfully ; and, ignorant of our intentions, 
might have revenged themselves on their assailants, but were soon 
restored to good humour when they found that they were to 
reeeive ample compensation for their losses and personal in- 
juries. A fat bakkal, a peddling dealer in nuts, raisins, and dates 
from Mosul, was then thrown with all his stores into a pond, and 
was well-nigh drowned by the crowd of boys who dived into the 
reservoir on the chance of sharing in the contents of his panniers. 
The young chief mingled heartily in the sport, stripping off his 
gay robes and inciting the people to mischief. There was general 
laughing in the valley, and the Yezidis will long remember these 
days of simple merriment and happiness^ 

In the afternoon the wives and daughters of the chiefs and 
Cawals called upon me. The families of the Cawals, evidently 
descended from the same stock, are remarkable for the beauty both 
of the men and women, all of whom are strikingly like one another. 
Their complexion is, perhaps, too dark, but their features are 
regular and admirably formed. The dresses of the girls were 
elegant, and as rich as the material they could obtain would allow. 
Some wove flowers into their hair, others encircled their black 
turbans with a single wreath of myrtle, a simple and elegant 
ornament. They all wore many strings of coins, amber, coral, 
agate, and glass beads round their necks, and some had the black 
skull cap completely covered with gold and silver money. A kind 
of apron of grey or yellowish check, like a Scotch plaid, tied 
over one shoulder, and falling in front over the silk dress, is 
a peculiar feature in the costume of the Yezidi girls, and of some 
Christians from the same district. Unmarried women have the 


neck bare, the married conceal it with a white kerchief, which 
passes under the chin, and is tied on the top of the head. The 
brightest colors are worn by the girls, but the matrons are usually 
clothed in plain white. The females of the Cawal families always 
wear black turbans and skull caps. Cawal Yusuf, to show how the 
Frank ladies he had seen at Constantinople were honored by their 
husbands, made his young wife walk arm in arm with him before 
us, to the great amusement of the bystanders. 

At night the same religious ceremonies were repeated in the 
temple, and I was allowed to sleep in the room overlooking the inner 
court from whence I had witnessed them on the previous evening. 
After all had retired- to rest, the Yezidi Mullah recited, in a low 
chanting tone, a religious history, or discourse, consisting of the 
adventures and teachings of a certain Mirza Mohammed. He 
stood before the burning lamp, and around him were stretched 
at full length on the stone pavement, and covered by their white 
cloaks, the sleeping Sheikhs and Cawals. The scene was sin- 
gularly picturesque and impressive. 

Next morning I visited, with Mr. Bassam and Mr. Cooper, the 
rock-sculptures of Bavian, which are not more than six miles from 
the valley of Sheikh Adi in the same range of hills; but I will 
defer a description of these remarkable monuments until I come to 
relate my second journey to the spot. 

The Kaidi, a Yezidi tribe, perform, at the annual festival, the 
following curious ceremony, said to be of great antiquity, which 
we witnessed on the day of our departure from Sheikh Adi. They 
ascend, in company with all those who have fire-anns, the rocks 
overhanging the temple, and, placing small oak twigs into the muz- 
zles of their guns, discharge them into the air. After having kept 
up a running fire for nearly half an hour, they descend into the 
outer court and again let off their pieces. When entering the 
inner court they go through a martial dance, before Hussein 
Bey, who stands on the steps of the sanctuary amidst the as- 
sembled priests and elders. The dance being ended, a bull, pre- 
sented by the Yezidi chief, is led out from the temple. The 
Kaidi rush upon the animal with shouts, and, seizing it, lead 
it off in triumph to Sheikh Mirza, one of the heads of the sect, 
from whom they also receive a present, generally consisting of 
sheep. During these ceremonies the assembled crowd of men, 
women, and children form groups on the steep sides of the ravine^ 
some standing on the well-wooded terraces^ others on projecting 

Chap.ivO poem of sheikh adi. 89 

rocks and ledges^ whilst the boys clamber into the high trees, from 
whence they can obtain a view of the proceedings. The women 
make the tahlel without ceasing, and the valley resounds with the 
deafening noise. The long white garments fluttering amongst the 
trees, and the gay costumes of some of the groups, produce a very 
beautiful and novel eflect. 

The Kaidi were formerly a powerful tribe, sending as many as 
Ax hundred matchlock-men to the great feast. They have been 
greatly reduced in numbers and wealth by wars and oppression. 

Cawal Yusuf had promised, on the occasion of the festival, to 
show me the sacred book of the Yezidis. He accordingly brought 
a volume to me one morning, accompanied by the secretary of 
Sheikh Nasr, the only Yezidi, as far as I am aware, who could 
read it. It consisted of a few tattered leaves, of no ancient 
date, containing a poetical rhapsody on the merits and attributes 
of Sheikh Adi, who is identified with the Deity himself, as the 
origin and creator of all things, though evidently distinguished 
from the Eternal Essence by being represented as seeking the truth, 
and as reaching through it the highest place, which he declares to 
be attainable by all those who like hiiu shall find the truth. I 
will, however, give a translation of this singular poem, for which 
I am indebted to Mr. Hormuzd Rassam.* 

The Recitation (or Poem) of Sueikh Adi — Peace be upon him ! 

1. My understanding surrounds tl»e truth of things, 

2. And my truth is mixed up in mc. 

3. And the truth of my descent is set forth by itself f; 

4. And when it was known it was nhogether in me.} 

5. All who are in the universe are under me, 

• Tho ve ar after n)y visit to Sheikh Adi this poem was &hown, through Mr. 
('. Ka«<*>ani, to the Kev. Mr. Badger, who has also given a translation of it in the 
first voKiine o{ his ** Nestorians and their Rituals/* The translation in the text 
was however, made In'fore Mr. Hatlger's work was puhli.nhed. That gentleman is 
mi;<takeii in ittatiiig that *^ Sheikh Adi is one of the names of the Deity in the 
thttiloj^'v of the Yezidis," and " that he is held by them to be the gmwl deity/' 
for in the fifty-eijjhih verse the Sheikh is expressly made to say, ** The All' 
mrrctfid h:uH diytinguished me with names;** and the Yezidis always admit him 
to Ik.* but a great prophet, or Vicegerent of the Almighty. 

t Or, '* I am come of mj self." 

J Arrording to Mr. Badger, " I have not known evil to be with me," but 
the verse seems to have reference to the Sheikh's self-existence. 


6. And all the habitable parts and the deserts *, 

7. And every thing created is under rae. f 

8. And I am the ruling power preceding all that exists. 

9. And I am he who spake a true saying. 

10. And I am the just judge, and the ruler of the earth (Bat'ha). 

11. And I am he whom men worship in my glory, 

12. Coming to me and kissing my feet. 

13. And I am he who spread over the heavens their height. 

14. And I am he who cried in the beginning (or in the wilderness, 

Al bidaee). 

15. And I am the Sheikh, the one and only one. 

16. And I am he who of myself revealeth all things. 

17. And I am he to whom came the book of glad tidings, 
IS. From my Lord who bumeth (or cleaveth) the mountains. 

19. And I am he to whom all created men come, 

20. In obedience to kiss my feet. 

21. I bring forth fruit from the first juice of early youth, 

22. By my presence, and turn towards me my disciples. I 

23. And before his light the darkness of the morning cleared away. 
24<. I guide him who asketh for guidance. 

25. And I am he that caused Adam to dwell in Paradise, 

26. And Nimrod to inhabit a hot burning (or hell) fire. 

27. And I am he who guided Ahmed the Just, 

28. And led him into my path and way. 

29. And I am he unto whom all creatures 

30. Come unto for my good purposes and gifts.§ 

31. And I am he who visited all the heights (or, who hath all 


32. And goodness and charity proceed from my mercy. 

33. And I am he who made all hearts to fear 

34. My purpose, and they magnified the power and miyesty of my 


35. And I am he to whom the destroying lion came, 

* Or, " And who are in distress and in a thicket.** 
f Or, " And in every good action I take delight." 
I The Rev. Mr. Badger translates the 2l8t and 22d verses differently : — 
" I am the mouth, the moisture of whose spittle 
Is as honey, wherewith I constitute my confidants ;** 
referring to the mode of initiation amongst Mussulman dervishes, who drink a 
bowl of milk into which a Sheikh has spat. 

§ Or, " Mine are all created, or existing things ; 
They are my gifts, and for my purposes.** 
I ^* And I am he that entereth the heart in my zeal. 

And I shine through the power of my awfulness and majesty.*' 

Mr, Badger, 

Cmap, ly.j POEM OF SHEIKH ADI. 91 

36. Raging, and I shouted against him and he became stone. 

37. And I am he to whom the serpent came, 

38. And by my will I made him dust. 

39. And I am he who struck the rock and made it tremble, 

40. And made to burst from its side the sweetest of waters. 

41. And I am he who sent down the certain truth. 

42. From me (is) the book that comforteth the oppressed. 

43. And I am he who judged justly ; 

44. And when I judged it was my right. 

45. And I am he who made the springs to give water, 

46. Sweeter and pleasanter than all waters. 

47. And I am he that caused it to appear in my mercy, 

48. And by my power I called it the pure (or the white). 

49. And I am he to whom the Lord of Heaven hath said, 

50. Thou art the Just Judge, and the ruler of the earth (Bafhai). 

51. And I am he who disclosed some of my wonders. 

52. And some of my virtues are manifested in that which exists. 

53. And I am he who caused the mountains to bow, 

54. To move under me, and at my will. 

55. And I am he before whose awful majesty the wild beasts cried ; 

56. They turned to me worshipping, and kissed ray feet. 

57. And I am Adi Es-shami (or, of Damascus), the son of Moosafir.* 

58. Verily the All-Merciful has assigned unto me names, 

59. The heavenly throne, and the seat, and the seven (heavens) and 

the earth.f 

60. In the secret of my knowledge there is no God but me. 

61. These things are subservient to my power. 

62. And for which state do you deny my guidance.} 

63. Oh men ! deny me not, but submit ; 

64. In the day of Judgment you will be happy in meeting me. 
6o. Who dies in my love I will cast him 

66. In the midst of Paradise by my will and pleasure ; 

67. But he who dies unmindful of me, 

68. Will be thrown into torture in misery and affliction.§ 

69. I say that I am the only one and the exalted ; 

70. I create and make rich those whom I will. 

* There is some doubt about this passage ; Mr. Badger has translated it^ 

" I am Adi of the mark, a wanderer." 

Guided hj the spirit of the passage, I prefer, however, Mr. Rassam's version 
which agrees with the common tradition amongst the Yezidis, with whom Sheikh 
Mocfftafir is a venerated personage. His mother was a woman of Busrah. Ho 
never married. 

t " And my seat and throne are the wide-spread earth." — Mr, Badger, 

I Or, " O mine enemies, why do jou deny me P" 

i Or, " Shall be punished with my contempt and rod.** — Mr. Badger. 


71. Praise be to myself, and all things are by my wilL 

72. And the universe is lighted by some of my gifts. 

73. I am the King who magnifies himself; 

74. And all the riches of creation are at my bidding. 

75. I have made known unto you, O people, some of my ways, 

76. Who desireth me must forsake the world. 

77. And I can also speak the true saying. 

78. And the garden on high is for those who do my pleasure. 

79. I sought the truth, and became a confirming truth ; 

80. And by the like truth shall they possess the highest place like 


This was the only written work that I was able to obtain from 
the Yezidis ; their cawals^ repeated several prayers and hymns to 
me, which were purely laudatory of the Deity, and unobjection- 
able in substance. Numerous occupations during the remainder 
of my residence in Assyria prevented me prosecuting my inquiries 
much further on this subject. Cawal Yusuf informed me that 
before the great massacre of the sect by the Bey of Rahwanduz 
they possessed many books which were lost during the general 
panic, or destroyed by the Kurds. He admitted that this was only 
a fragmentary composition, and by no means " the Book" which 
contained the theology and religious laws of the YezidL He even 
hinte<l that the great work did still exist, and I am by no means 
certain that there is not a copy at Baasheikhah or Baazani. The 
account given by the Cawal seems to be confirmed by the allusion 
made in the above poem to the " Book of Glad Tidings," and 
*' the Book that comforteth the oppressed," which could scarcely 
have been inserted for any particular purpose, such as to deceive 
their Mohammedan neighbours. 

I have given in an appendix three chants of the Yezidis, which 
were noted down by M. Lowy as Cawal Yusuf played on his flute 
when with me at Constantinople/ Two of them are not without 
originality and melody. 

I :vill here add a few notes concerning the Yezidis and their 
faith tc those contained in my former work ; they were chiefly 
obtained from Cawal Yusuf. 

They beJieve that Christ will come to govern the world, but 
that after hiui Sheikh Medi will appear, to whom will be given 
special jurisdiction over those speaking the Kurdish language, 

* The flute of the Yezidis consists of a reed blown at one end. The tone is 
exceedingly sweet and meUow, and some of their melodies very plaintive. 


including the Yezidis (this is evidently a modern interpolation 
derived from Mussulman sources, perhaps invent^ to conciliate the 

All who go to heaven must first pass an expiatory period in 
helly but no one will be punished eternally. Mohammedans they 
exclude from all future life, but not Christians. (This may have 
been said to avoid giving ofiencc.) 

The Yezidis will not receive converts to their faith ; circumcision 
is optional. When a child is bom near enough to the tomb of 
Sheikh Adi, to be taken there without great inconvenience or 
danger, it should be baptized as early as possible after birth. The 
Cawals in their periodical visitations carry a bottle or skin filled 
with the holy water, to baptize those children who cannot be 
brought to the shrine. 

There are forty days fast in the spring of the year, but they are 
observed by few ; one person in a family may fast for the rest.* 
They should abstain during that period as completely as the 
Chaldseans from animal food. Sheikh Nasr fasts rigidly for one 
month in the year, eating only once in twenty-four hours and 
immediately after sunset. 

Only one wife is strictly lawful, although the chief takes more; 
but concubines are not forbidden. The wife may be turned away 
for great misconduct, and the husband, with the consent of the 
Sheik lis, may marry again ; but the discarded wife never can. 
Kven such divorces ought only to be given in cases of adultery; 
for formerly, when the Yezidis administered their own temporal 
lawrJ, tiie wife was punished with death, and the husband of course 
was tiicn released. 

The religious, as well as the political, head of all Yezidis, where- 
cver they may reside, is Hussein Bey, who is called the Kalifa, 
and he lioMs this position by inheritance. As he is young and 
inexperienced, he deputes his religious duties to Sheikh Nasr. Ho 
should l>e the Ptesh-Namaz^ or leader of the prayers, during 
sacred ceremonies ; but as a |)cculiar dress is worn on this occa- 
sion, and the Bey is obliged to be in continual intercourse with 
the Turkish authorities, these robes might fall into their hands, and 
they are, therefore, entrusted to Sheikh Jindi, who officiates for the 

• Thi.<< rcniiiKls me of the Be<louin», who, when they come into a town in a 
part T, M'nd one of their number to the mo9<}ue to pray for his companions as well 
as himK'lf. 


young chief.* Sheikh Nasr is only the chief of the Sheikhs of the 
district of Sheikhan. The Cawals are all of one family , and are 
under the orders of Hussein Bey, who sends them periodically to 
collect the voluntary contributions of the various tribes. The 
amount received by them is divided into two equal parts, one of 
which goes to the support of the tomb of Sheikh Adi, and half of 
the other to Hussein Bey, the remainder being equally shared by 
the Cawals. Neither the priests nor Hussein Bey ever shave their 
beards. They ought not to marry out of their own order, and 
though the men do not observe this rule very strictly, the women 
are never given in marriage to one out of the rank of the priest- 
hood. Hussein Bey ought to take his wife from the family of 
Chul Beg. 

After death, the body of a Yezidi, like that of a Mohammedan, 
is washed in running water, and then buried with the face turned 
towards the north star. A Cawal should be present at the cere- 
mony, but if one cannot be found, the next who visits the neigh- 
bourhood should pray over the grave. I have frequently seen 
funeral parties of Yezidis in their villages. The widow dressed in 
white, throwing dust over her head, which is also well smeared 
with clay, and accompanied by her female friends, will meet the 
mourners dancing, with the sword or shield of her husband in one 
hand, and long locks cut from her own hair in the other. 

I have stated that it is unlawful amongst the Yezidis to know 
how to read or write. This, I am assured, is not the case, and 
their ignorance arises from want of means and proper teachers. 
Formerly a Chaldsean deacon used to instruct the children. 

Cawal Yusuf mentioned accidentally, that, amongst the Yezidis, 
the ancient name for God was Azed^ and from it he derived the 
name of his sect. He confirmed to me the fact of the small 
Ziareh at Sheikh Adi being dedicated to the sun, who, he says, 
is called by the Yezidis " Wakeel el Ardth " (the Lieutenant or 
Governor of the world). They have no particular reverence for 
fire ; the people pass their hands through the flame of the lamps 
at Sheikh Adi, merely because they belong to the tomb. Their 
Kublah, he declareil, was the polar star and not the east. 

On my way to Mosul from Sheikh Adi, I visited the ruins of 
Jerraiyah, where excavations had been again carried on by one of 

* All Bej, Hussein Bey's father, was initiated in the performance of all the 
ceremonies of the faith. 

C«*y. IV.] 



my agents. Xo ancient buildings were discovered. The prin- 
cipal mound is lufty and conical in shapes and the base is sur- 
rounded by snialter mounds, and irregularities in the soil which 
denote the remaine of houses. I had not leisure during my resi- 
dence in Assyria to examine the spot aa fully as it may deserve. 

Mound of Kimroud. 













We were again in Mosul by the 12th of October. The Jebours, 
my old workmen, had now brought their families to the town. I 
directed them to cross the river, and to pitch their tents over the 
excavations at Kouyunjik, as they had formerly done around the 
trenches at Nimroud. The Bedouins, unchecked in their forays 
by the Turkish authorities, had become so bold, that they ven- 
tured to the very walls of Mosul, and on the opposite bank of the 
Tigris had plundered the cattle belonging to the inhabitants of 
the village of the tomb of Jonah. On one occasion I saw an 
Arab horseman of the desert dart into the high road, seize a mule, 
and drive it off from amidst a crowd of spectators. This state of 
things made it necessary to have a strong party on the ruins for 
self-defence. The Jebours were, however, on good terms with 
the Bedouins, and had lately encamped amongst them. Indeed, 
it was suspected, that whilst Abd-rubbou and his tribe were more 
than usually submissive in their dealings with the local govern- 
ment, they were the receivers of goods carried off by their friends. 

Ckap v.] beturn to nimroud. 97 

their intercourse with the town enabling them to dispose of such 
property to the best advantage in the market-place. 

About one hundred workmen, divided into twelve or fourteen 
parties, were employed at Kouyunjik. The Arabs^ as before, re- 
moved the earth and rubbish, whilst the more difficult labor with 
the pick was left entirely to the Nestorian mountaineers. My 
old friend, Yakoub, the Rais of Asheetha, made his appearance 
one morning, declaring that things were going on ill in the moun- 
tains ; and that, although the head of a village, he hoped to spend 
the winter more profitably and more pleasantly in my service. He 
was accordingly named superintendent of the Tiyari workmen, 
for whom I built mud huts near the foot of the mound. 

The work having been thus began at Kouyunjik, I rode with 
Hormuzd to Nimroud for the first time on the 18th of October. 
It seemed but yesterday that we had followed the same track. 
We stopped at each village, and found in each old acquaintances 
ready to welcome us. From the crest of the hill half way, the 
first view of Nimroud opened upon us ; the old mound, on which 
I had gazed so often from this spot, and with which so many happy 
recollections were bound up, rising boldly above the Jaif, the 
river winding through the plain, the distant wreaths of smoke 
marking the villages of Naifa and Nimroud. At Selamiyah we 
souglit the house of the Kiayah, where I had passed the first 
winter wliiKst excavating at Nimroud ; but it was now a house of 
nionrniujr. The good old man had died two days before, and the 
waiLs of the women, telling of a death within, met our cars as 
wc approached the hovel. Turning from the scene of woe, we 
pilloped over the plain, and reached Nimroud as the sun went 
down. Saleh Shahir, with the elders of the village, was there to re- 
ceive iiH. I dismounted at my old house, which was still standing, 
tliouirli poniewhat in ruin?, for it had been the habitation of the 
Kiavah during my absence. Toma Shishman had, however, been 
sent down the day before, and had made such preparations for our 
reception as the state of the place would permit. To avoid the 
vcrniiii hwarining in the rooms, my tent was pitched in the court- 
yard, and I dwelt entirely in it. 

T\w village had still, comparatively speaking, a flourishing ap- 
pearance, and had not diminirjhed in size since my last visit. The 
tauzimnt, or reformed system of local administration, had been 
intr«H)uced into the pashalio of Mosul, and although many of its 
regulationrt were evaded, and arbitrary acts were still occasionally 
connnitted, yet on the whole a marked improvement had taken 



place in the dealings of the authorities with the subjects of the 
Sultan. The great cause of complaint was the want of security. 
The troops under the command of the Pasha were not sufficient in 
number to keep the Bedouins in check, and there was scarcely a 
village in the low country which had not suffered more or less from 
their depredations. Nimroud was particularly exposed to their 
jncurdions, and the inhabitants lived in continual agitation and 

The evening was spent with the principal people of the village, 
talking with them of their prospects, taxes, harvests, and the mili- 
tary conscription, now the great theme of discontent in Southern 
Turkey, where it had been newly introduced. 

By sunrise I was amongst the ruins. The mound had under- 
gone no change. There it rose from the plain, the same sun-burnt 
yellow heap that it had stood for twenty centuries. The earth and 
rubbish, which had been heaped over the excavated chambers and 
sculptured slabs, had settled, and had left uncovered in sinking the 
upper part of several bas-reliefs. A few colossal heads of winged 
figures rose calmly above the level of the soil, and with two pairs 
of winged bulls, which had not been reburied on account of their 
mutilated condition, was all that remained above ground of the 
north-west palace, that great storehouse of Assyrian history and 
art. Since my departure the surface of the mound had again been 
furrowed by the plough, and ample crops had this year rewarded 
the labors of the husbandman. The ruins of the south-west 
palace were still uncovered. The Arabs had respected the few 
bas-reliefs which stood against the crumbling walls, and Saleh 
Shahir pointed to them as a proof of the watchfulness of his people 
during my long absence. 

Collecting together my old excavators from the Shemutti and 
Jehesh (the Arab tribes who inhabit Nimroud and Naifa), and 
from the tents of a few Jebours who still lingered round the vil- 
lage to glean a scanty subsistence after the harvest, I placed work- 
men in different parts of the mound. The north-west palace had 
not been fully explored. Most of the chambers which did not 
contain sculptured slabs, but were simply built of sundried bricks, 
had been left unopened. I consequently directed a party of work- 
men to resume the excavations where they had been formerly 
abandoned.* New trenches were also opened in the ruins of the 
centre palace, where, as jet, no sculptures had been discovered in 

* To the south of Chamber X. Plan IIL " Nineveh and its Remains,** vol. i. 
p. 62. 

Chap.VJ an alarm. 99 

their original position against the walls. The high conical monnd 
forming the north-west corner of Nimroud, the pyramid as it has 
usually been called^ had always been an object of peculiar interest, 
which want of means had hitherto prevented me fully examining. 
With the exception of a shaft, about forty feet deep, sunk nearly in 
the centre, and passing through a solid mass of sundried bricks^ na 
other opening had been made into this singular ruin. I now 
ordered a tunnel to be carried into its base on the western face, and 
on a level with the conglomerate rock upon which it rested. 

Whilst riding among the ruins giving directions to the workmen, 
we had not escaped the watchful eyes of the Abou-Salman Arabs, 
whose tents were scattered over the Jaif. Not having heard of 
my visit, and perceiving horsemen wandering over the mound, 
they took us for Bedouin marauders, and mounting their ever- 
ready mares, sallied forth to reconnoitre. Seeing Arabs galloping 
over the plain I rode down to meet them, and soon found my- 
self in the embrace of Schloss, the nephew of Sheikh Abd-ur- 
Bahman. We turned together to the tents of the chief, still pitched 
on the old encamping ground. The men, instead of fighting with 
Bedouins, now gathered round us in the muzeef*^ and a sheep 
was slain to celebrate my return. The Sheikh himself was ab- 
sent, having been thrown into prison by the Pasha for refusing to 
pay some newly-imposed taxes. I was able to announce his re- 
lease, at my intercesi*ion, to his wife, who received me as his guest. 
The Sheikh of the Iladdedeon Arabs, hearing that I was at the 
Al)»>u-Sahiian camp, rode over with his people to see me. His 
tents Ftood on the banks of tlic Tigris, and he had united with 
Alxl-nr-Kalinian for mutual defence against the Bedouins. 

A-^ we returned to Nimroud in the evening, we stopped at a 
Fmall encampment in the Jaif, and buried beneath a heap of old 
felts and sacks found poor Khalaf-cl-IIussein, who had, in former 
times, been the active and hospitable Sheikh of my Jebour work- 
men at the mound. The world had since gone ill with him. 
Struck down by fever, he had been unable to support himself 
and his family by labor, or other means open to an Arab. lie 
wn*? in groat poverty, and still helpless from disease. He rose 
uj» as we rode to his tent, and not having heard of our arrival 
wa.s struck with astonishment and delight as he saw Hormuzd 
an<l myself at its entrance. We gave him such help as was 
in our power, and he declared that the prospect of again being in 
my service would soon prove the best remedy for his disease. 

• Tlio muzee/'ii that pait of on Arab tent in which gwo«l!v arc ttiCCw^Cl, 

N 'J 


As I ascended the mound next morning I perceived a group of 
travellers on its summit, their horses picketted in the stubble. 
Ere I could learn what strangers had thus wandered to this 
remote region, my hand was seized by the faithful Bairakdar. 
Beneath, in an excavated chamber, wrapped in his travelling cloak, 
was Rawlinson deep in sleep, wearied by a long and harassing 
night's ride. For the first time we met in the Assyrian ruins, and 
besides the greetings of old friendship there was much to be seen 
together, and much to be talked over. The fatigues of the journey 
had, however, brought on fever, and we were soon compelled, after 
visiting the principal excavations, to take refuge from the heat of 
the sun in the mud huts of the village. The attack increasing in 
the evening, it was deemed prudent to ride into Mosul at once, and 
we mounted our horses in the middle of the night. 

During two days Col. Rawlinson was too ill to visit the excava- 
tions at Kouyunjik. On the third we rode together to the mound. 
After a hasty survey of the ruins we parted, and he continued his 
journey to Constantinople and to England, to reap the laurels of a 
well-earned fame.* 

I had now nearly all my old adherents and workmen about me. 
The Bairakdar, who had hastened to join me as soon as he had 
heard of my return, was named principal cawass, and had the 
general management of my household. One LatiiF Agha, like the 
Bairakdar, a native of Scio, carried off as a slave after the mas- 
sacre, and brought up in the Mussulman creed, was appointed an 
overseer over the workmen. He had been strongly recommended 
to me by the British consul at Kaiseriyah, and fully justified in 
my service by his honesty and fidelity the good report I had 
received of him. 

My readers would be wearied were I to relate, day by day, the 
progress of the excavations, and to record, as they were gradually 
made, the discoveries in the various ruins. It will give a more 
complete idea of the results of the researches to describe the 

* Shortly after Col. Rawlinson's departure, Capt. Newbold, of the East India 
Company*s service, spent a few days with me at Mosul. Although, alas ! I 
can no longer recall to his recollection the happy hours we passed together, let 
me pay a sincere tribute to the memory of one who, in spite of hopeless disease, 
and sufierings of no common kind, maintained an almost unrivalled sweetness 
of disposition, and never relaxed from the pursuit of knowledge and the love of 
science. Those who enjoyed his intimacy, and profited by his learning, will 
know that this testimony to his worth is not the exaggerated praise of partial 

»•¥.] THE ABAB WOBKlfSN. 101 

•enlptured walls of a whole chamber when entirely explored, 
instead of noting, one by one, as dug out, bas-relieft wfaioh form 
bat part of the same subject. I will, therefore, merely mention 
that, daring the months of October and November, my time was 
spent between Kouyunjik and Nimroud, and that the excavations 
were carried on at both pkces without interruption. Mr. Cooper 
ocoupied in drawing the bas-reliefii discovered at Kouyunjik, 
in Mosul, and riding over daily to the ruins. To Mr. Hor* 
musd Bassam, who usually accompanied me in my journeys, were 
confided, as before, the general superintendence of the operations^ 
the payment of the workmen, the settlement of disputes, and 
various other oflSces, which only one, as well acquainted as himself 
with the Arabs and men of various sects employed in the works^ 
and exercising so much personal influence amongst them, could 
nndertake. To his unwearied exertions, and his faithful and 
punctual disdiaige of all the duties imposed upon him, to his 
inexhaustible good humour, combined with necessary firmness, to 
bis complete knowledge of the Arab character, and the attachment 
with whidi even the wildest of those with whom we were brought in 
contact regarded him, the Trustees of the British Musemm owe not 
only much of the success of these researches, but the economy with 
which I was enabled to carry them through. Without him it 
would have been impossible to accomplish half what has been done 
with the means placed at my disposal 

The Arab workmen, as I have already observed, lived in tents 
amongst the ruins. The overseers of the works of Kouyunjik 
resided cither in the village near the foot of the mound, or in 
Mosul, and crossed the river every morning before the labors of 
the day began. The workmen were divided into several classes, 
and their wages varied according to their respective occupations, 
as well as according to the time of year. They were generally 
paid weekly by Hormuzd. The diggers, who were exposed to 
very severe labor, and even to considerable risk, received from two 
piastres and a half to three piastres (from 5d, to 6dL) a-day ; those 
who filled the iMukets from two piastres to two and a half; and 
the general workmen from one and a half to two piastres. The 
earth, when removed, was sifted by boys, who earned about one 
piastre for their day^s labor. These wages may api)ear low, but 
they are amply sufficient for the support of a family in a country 
where the camel-load of wheat (nearly 480 lbs.) is sold for about 
four shillings, and where no other protection from the inclemencies 

H 9 


of the weather is needed than a linen shirt and the black folds of 
an Arab tent.* 

The Koujunjik workmen were usually paid in the subterraneous 
galleries^ some convenient space where several passages met being 
chosen for the purpose ; those of Nimroud generally in the vil- 
lage. A scene of wild confusion ensued on these occasions, from 
which an inexperienced observer might argue a sad want of order 
and method. This was, however, but the way of doing business 
usual in the country. When there was a difference of opinion, he 
who cried the loudest gained the day, and after a desperate struggle 
of voices matters relapsed into their usual state, every one being 
perfectly satisfied. Screaming and gesticulation with Easterns by 
no means signify ill will, or even serious disagreement. Without 
them, except of course amongst the Turks, who are staid and 
dignified to a proverb, the most ordinary transactions cannot be 
carried on, and they are frequently rather symptoms of friendship 
than of hostility. Sometimes the Arabs employed at Kouyunjik 
would cross the river to Mosul to receive their pay. They would 
then walk through the town in martial array, brandishing their 
weapons and chanting their war cries in chorus, to the alarm of 
the authorities and the inhabitants, who generally concluded that 
the place had been invaded by the Bedouins. It was Mr. Hormuzd 
Kassam's task to keep in check these wild spirits. 

By the end of November several entire chambers had been 
excavated at Kouyunjik, and many bas-reliefs of great interest 
had been discovered. The four sides of the hall, part of which 
has already been described t> had now been explored. $ In the 
centre of each side was a grand entrance, guarded by colossal 
human-headed bulls. § This magnificent hall was no less than 124 

* At Mosul, a bullock, very small certainly when compared with our high-fed 
cattle, is sold for forty or fifly piastres, 8«. or 10<. ; a fat sheep for about 4^. ; a 
lamb for 2*. or 2*. 6d. Other articles of food are proportionally cheap. The 
camel-load of barley was selling at my departure for ten or twelve piastres (2*. 
or 2s. 6d.), A common horse is worth from 3/. to 51. ; a donkey about lOs. ; a 
eamel about the same as a horse. 

t See p. 70. 

} It will be borne in mind that it was necessary to carry tunnels round the 
chambers, and along the walla, leaving the centre buried in earth and rubbish, a 
very laborious and tedious operation with no more means at command than 
those afforded by the country. 

§ All these entrances were formed in the same way as that in the south- 
eastern side, described p. 72., namely, by a pair of human -headed bulls, ffanked 
on each side by a winged giant, and two smaller figures one above the other. 


feet in length by 90 feet in breadth, the longest sides being those 
to the north and south. It appears to have formed a centre, 
around which the principal chambers in this part of the palace 
were grouped. Its walls had been completely covered with the 
most elaborate and highly finished sculptures. Unfortunately all 
the bas-reliefs, as well as the gigantic monsters at the entrances, 
had suffered more or less from the fire which had destroyed the 
edifice ; but enough of them still remained to show the subject, 
and even to enable me in many places to restore it entirely. 

The narrow passage leading from the great hall at the south- 
west corner had been completely explored. Its sculptures have 
already been described.* It opened into a chamber 24 feet by 19, 
from which branched two other passages, f The one to the west 
was entered by a wide doorway, in which stood two plain spherical 
stones about three feet high, having the appearance of the bases of 
columns, although no traces of any such architectural ornament 
could be found. This was the entrance into a broad and spacious 
gallery, about 218 feet long and 25 wide. J A tunnel at its 
western end, cut through the solid wall, as there was no doorway 
on this side of the gallery, led into the chambers excavated by 
Mr. Ross §, thus connecting them with ihe rest of the building* 
Opposite this tunnel the gallery turned to the right, but was not 
explored until long after. From this part of the excavations an 
inclined way, dug from the surface of the mound, was used by the 
Arabs in descending to the subterraneous works. 

I have already described the bas-reliefs representing the conquest 
of a mountainous country on the southern side of the great hall. | 
The same subject was continued on the western wall, without much 
variety in the details. But on the northern, the sculptures dif- 
fered from any others yet discovered, and from their interest and 
novelty merit a particular notice. They were in some cases nearly 
entire, though much cracked and calcined by fire, and represented 
the process of transporting the great human-headed bulls to the 
{Milaces of which they formed so remarkable a feature. But be- 
fore giving a |)articular description of them, I must return to the 
long gallery to the west of the great hallf , as the sculptures still 
preserved in it form port of and complete this important series. 

• P. 74. t No«. XLVIII. and XLII. Plan L 

I No. XLTX. tame Plan. § No«. LI. and LII. same Plan. 

I P. 71. I asfunie the buildinp^ to be due north and south, although it is not 
to. It facet nearly north-east and touth-wett. 
^ No. XLIX. Plan I. 

H 4 


The slabs on one side of this gallery had been entirely destroyed, 
except at the eastern end ; and from the few which still remained, 
every trace of sculpture had been carefully removed by some sharp 
instrument Along the opposite wall (that to the right on leaving 
the great hall) only eight bas-reliefs still stood in their original 
position, and even of these only the lower part was preserved. 
Detached fragments of others were found in the rubbish, and from 
them I ascertained that the whole gallery had been occupied by one 
continuous series, representing the different processes adopted by 
the Assyrians in moving and placing various objects used in their 
buildings, and especially the human-headed bulls, from the first 
transport of the huge stone in the rough from the quarry, to the 
raising of these gigantic sculptures in the gateways of the palace- 
temples. On these fragments were seen the king in his chariot, 
superintending the operations, and workmen carrying cables, or 
dragging carts loaded with coils of ropes, and various implements 
for moving the colossi. Enough, however, did not remain to 
restore any one series of bas-reliefs, but fortunately, on the slabs 
still standing, was represented the first process, that of bringing 
the stone from the quarry, whilst those on the northern walls of 
the great hall furnished many of the subjects which were here 
wanting. Amongst the scattered fragments was the figure of a 
lion-headed man raising a sword*, which does not appear to have 
belonged to this gallery, unless it had been used to break the mo- 
notony of one long line of elaborate bas-reliefs representing nearly 
the same subject. Similar figures only occur at entrances in the 
ruins of Kouyunjik. 

I will commence, then, by a description of the sculptures still 
standing in their original position in the gallery. A huge block of 
stone (probably of the alabaster used in the Assyrian edifices), some- 
what elongated in form so as to resemble an obelisk in the rough f, 
is lying on a low flat-bottomed boat floating on a river. It has 
probably been towed down the Tigris from some quarry, and is 
to be landed near the site of the intended palace, to be carved 

* This sculpture is now in the British Museum. The opposite lithograph, 
from a sketch by the able pencil of the Rev. S. C. Malan, will show in what state 
these fragments were discovered. 

t It is just possible that this object may really represent an obelisk, similar to 
that brought, according to Diodorus Siculus (Ub. ii. c. l.)» by Semiramis, from 
Armenia to Babylon ; but I think it far more probable, for several reasons, that 
it is a block in the rough from the quarry, to be sculptured into the form of a 
winged bull. 




by the 0cnilptor into tlie fonn of a oolosaal bulL It exceeds tlie 
beet conaidenbly in length, projecting beyond both the head and 
■tem, and ia held by upright beams fastened to the sides of the 
veaselt and kept firm in their places by wooden wedges. Two 
cables are passed through holes cat in the atone itself, and a third 
is tied to a strong pin projecting from the head of the boat Each 
cable is held by a large body of men, who pull by means of small 
ropes Autened to it and passed round their shouldera. Some of 
these trackers walk in the water, others on dry land. Hie number 
altogether represented must have been nearly 300, about 100 to 
each cabl^ and they appear to be divided into distinct bands, each 
distinguished by a peculiar costume Some wear a kind of em- 
broidered turbui, through which 
._-^ - -^ „, their long hur is gathered behind; 

the heads of others are en<»roled 
by a fringed shawl, whose ends 
- hang over the ears and neck, leav- 
ing the hair to fall in long cnrls 
upon the shoulders. Many are 
represented naked, but the greater 
number are dressed in short che- 
quered tunica, with a long fringe 
attached to the girdle. They are ui^ed on by tnakmasters armed 
with aworda and Btavca. 'Die boat ia also pushed by men wading 
tlirough the etrcnm. An overseer, who regulates the whole proceed- 
ingii, is seated aatride on the fore-part of the stone. His hands are 
stnrtchcd out in the act of giving commands. The upper part of 
all the bas-reliefs having unfortunately been destroyed, it cannot 
be ascertained what figures wore represented above the tmckcrs; 
prubnhly Awyrian warriors drawn up in martial amy, or may be 
tlie king himseir in his chariot, accompanied by his bodyguard, 
and presiding over the operations.* 

Tlie huge stone having been landed, and carved by the Assyrian 
sculjitor into the form of a colossal human-headed bull, is to be 
moved from the bank of the river to the site it ia meant to occupy 
I>ennanently in the palace-temple. This process is represented on 
the wallit of the great hall. From these bas-reliefs, as well as 
fnim discoveries to be hereafter mentioned, it is therefore evident 
tlint the Assyrians sculptured their gigantic figures before, and not 

Bcvii4 bun iTUMjiu-iii'^ 


after, the slabs had been raised in the edifice, although all the 
details and the finishing touches were not put in, as it will be seen, 
until they had been finally placed.* I am still, however, of 
opinion, that the smaller bas-reliefs were entirely executed after 
the slabs had been attached to the walls. 

In the first bas-relief I shall describe, the colossal bull rests 
horizontally on a sledge similar in form to the boat containing the 
rough block from the quarry, but either in the carving the stone 
has been greatly reduced in size, or the sledge is much larger than the 
boat, as it considerably exceeds the sculpture in length. The bull 
faces the spectator, and the human head rests on the fore part of the 
sledge, which is curved upwards and strengthened by a thick beam, 
apparently running completely through from side to side. The 
upper part, or deck, is otherwise nearly horizontal ; the under, or 
keel, being slightly curved throughout. Props, probably of wood, 
are placed under different parts of the sculpture to secure an equal 
pressure. The sledge was dragged by cables, and impelled by 
levers. The cables are four in number ; two fastened to strong 
projecting pins in front, and two to similar pins behind. They 
are pulled by small ropes passing over the shoulders of the men, 
as in the bas-reliefs already described. The numbers of the work- 
men may of course be only conventional, the sculptor introducing 
as many as he found room for on the slab. They are again 
distinguished by various costumes, being probably captives from 
different conquered nations, and are urged on by task-masters. 
The sculpture moves over rollers, which, as soon as left behind by 
the advancing sledge, are brought again to the front by parties of 
men, who are also under the control of overseers armed with 
staves. Although these rollers materially facilitated the motion, 
it would be almost impossible, when passing over rough ground, or 
if the rollers were jammed, to give the first impetus to so heavy a 
body by mere force applied to the cables. The Assyrians, there- 
fore, lifted, and consequently eased, the hinder part of the sledge 
with huge levers of wood, and in order to obtain the necessary 
fulcrum they carried with them during the operations wedges of 
different sizes. Kneeling workmen are represented in the bas- 
reliefs inserting an additional wedge to raise the fulcrum. The 
lever itself was worked by ropes, and on a detached fragment, 

* In my former work (vol. ii. p. 255.) I had slated that all the Assyrian 
sculptures were carved in their places against the walls of the buildings. 

Cuup.V.] XOVIKO TH£ BULLS. 107 

^Morered in the long gallery, men were seen seated astride npon 
it to add by thm weight to the force applied* 

On the bull itself are four persons, probably the superintending 
officers. The first is kneeling, and appears to be clapping hu 
hands, probably beating time, to regukte the motions of the work** 
men, who unless they applied their strength at one and the same 
moment would be unable to move so large a weight* Behind him 
stands a second officer with outstretched arm, evidendy giving the 
word of command. The next holds to his mouth, either a speak- 
ing-trumpet, or an instrument of music If the former, it proves 
that the Assyrians were acquainted with a means of conveying 
sound, presumed to be of modem invention. In form it un« 
doubtedly resembles the modem speaking-trampet, and in no bas« 
relief hitherto discovered does a similar object occur as an instru- 
ment of music. The fourth officer, also standing, carries a mace, 
and is probably stationed behind to give directions to those who 
work the levers. The sledge bearing the sculpture is followed 
by men with coils of ropes and various implements, and drawing 
carts laden with cables and beams. Even the landscape is not 
neglected ; and the country in which these operations took place 
is indicated by trees, and by a river. In this stream are seen 
men swimming on skins; and boats and rafts, resembling those 
still in use in Asi^rria, are impelled by oars with wedge-shaped 

A 8ul>jcct similar to that just dc8cril)ed is represented in another 
series of bas-reliefs, with even fuller detail. The bull is placed in 
the same manner on the sledge, which is also moved by cables and 
levers. It is accompanied by workmen with saws, hatchets, pick- 
axes, shoveli9, ropes, and props, and by carts carrying cables and 
beams. Upon it are three officers directing the operations, one 
holding the trumpet in his hands, and in front walk four other 
oven^ecre. Above the sledge and the workmen are rows of trees, 
and a river on which are circular boats resembling in shape the 
** kufa^,*^ now used on the lower part of the Tigris, and probably, 
like them, built of reeds and ozicr twigs, covered with square 
pieces of hide.* They are heavily laden with beams and imple- 
ments required for moving the bulls. They appear to have been 
near the pledge when dragged along the bank of the river, and were 
imix^Ued by four oars similar to those above described. Near the 

• Such Efipeur to have been the boaU detcribed bj Herodotus (lib. i. c. Id4.). 
Tbe mudern ^ kufa** is cover«d with bitumen. 


boats, astride on inflated skina in the water, aro fishermen angling 
with hook and line.* 

On a fallen slab, forming part of the same general series, is the 
king standing in a richly decorated chariot, the pole of which, 
curved upwards at the end, and ornamented with the head of a 
horse, is raised by eunuchs. From the peculiar form of this chariot 
and the absence of a yoke, it would seem to have been intended 
purposely for such occasions as that represented in the bas-relief, 
and to have been a kind of moveable throne drawn by men and not 
by horscB-t Behind the monarch, who holds a kind of flower, or 
ornament in the shape of the fruit of the pine, in one hand, stand 
two eunuchs, one raising a para- 
sol to shade him from the sun, 
the other coohng him with a 
fan. He appears to have been 
superintending the transport of 
one of the colossal sculptures, 
and his chariot is preceded and 
followed by his bodyguard armed 
with raaces. In the upper part 
of the slab is a Jungle of high 
reeds, or canes, in which are 
seen a wild sow with its young, 

* This bu-relief is now in the British Museum, and bcc Plate 12., 2rd 
series of MonumeDts of Nineveh. 

t A. throne on wheels, with a yoke, carried by two eunuchs, is represented in 
a bu-relief at Khorsabad. Botta, Plate 17. 


and a st^ and two binds. These animals are designed with great 
spirit and truth.* 

i ^irz'~,r:>ir:ini 

The next aericB of bns-reliefs represents the building of the arti- 
ficial plDtForms on which the palaces were erected, and the Assyrians 
moving to their summit the colossal bulls, f The king is again seen 
in his chariot drawn by eunuchs, whilst an attendant raises the 
royal pamsol above his head. He overlooks the operations from that 
part of the mound to which the sledge is being dragged, and before 
him stiuids his body-guard, a long line of alternate s]>earmen and 
archers, resting their arms and aluelda upon the ground. Above 
him arc low hills covered with various trees, amongst which may be 
diritinguishud by their fruit tlic vine, the fig, and the pomegranate. 
At tbe bottom of ihe slab is represented either a river divided into 
two brunches and forming an island, as the Tigris docs to this day 
opiHisite Kuuyunjik, or the confluence of that stream and the 
Kbauser, whieii tlien [>robabIy took place at the very foot of the 
mound. On the banks are seen men raising water by a simple 
machine, still generally used for irrigation in tbe East, as well as 
in Southern ?'uropc, and called in Egypt a shadoof. It consists 
of a long pole, balanced on a shaft of masonry, and turning 
on n pivot; to one end is attached a stone, and to the other 
a bucket, which, after being lowered into the water and tilled, 
is easily raised by the help of the opjwsitc weight. Its contents 
arc then emptied into a conduit communicating with the various 

• Soc Plate 1-2. 2il series of Monuments of Nineveh. 

t Se« i'lutefl 14 and 15. 'JU scries uf Monuments of Nineveh. 


watercourses running through the fields. In the neighbourhood 
of Mosul this mode of irrigation is now rarely used, the larger 
skins raised by oxen affording a better supply, and giving, it is 
considered, less trouble to the cultivator.* 

The process of building the artificial mound adjoined the subject 
just described.! Men, apparently engaged in making bricks, are 
crouching and kneeling round a square space, probably representing 
the pit whence the clay for this purpose was taken. Unfortunately 
this part of the subject, on the only two slabs on which it occurs, 
has been so much defaced, that its details cannot be ascertained with 
certainty. These brickmakers are between two mounds, on which 
are long lines of workmen going up and down. Those who toil 
upwards carry large stones, and hold on their backs by ropes 
baskets filled with bricks, earth, and rubbish. On reaching the 
top of the mound they relieve themselves of their burdens, and 
return again to the foot for fresh loads in the order they went up. 

It would appear that the men thus employed were captives and 
malefactors, for many of them are in chains, some singly, others 
bound together by an iron rod attached to rings in their girdles. 
The fetters, like those of modern criminals, confine the legs, and 
are supported by a bar fastened to the waist, or consist of simple 
shackles round the ankles. They wear a short tunic, and a conical 
cap, somewhat resembling the Phrygian bonnet, with the curved 
crest turned backwards, a costume very similar to that of the 
tribute bearers on the Niniroud obelisk. Each band of workmen 
is followed and urged on by task-masters armed with staves. 

The mound, or artificial platform, having been thus built, not 
always, as it has been seen, with regular layers of sundried bricke, 
but frequently in parts with mere heaped-up earth and rubbish J, 
the next step was to drag to its summit the colossal figures pre- 
pared for the palace. As some of the largest of these sculptures 
were full twenty feet square, and must have weighed between 
forty and fifty tons, this was no easy task with such means as 
the Assyrians possessed. The only aid to mere manual strength 

* I have described the mode of irrigation now generally employed by the 
Mesopotamian Arabs, in my " Nineveh and its Remains," vol. ii. p. 353. 

t Part of this bas-relief is in the British Museum, and see 2d series of Monu- 
ments of Nineveh, Plates 14 & 15. The whole series occupied about twenty-five 
slabs in the N.E. walls of the great hall, from No. 43. to No. 68. Plan I. Un- 
fortunately some of the slabs had been entirely destroyed. 

{ Subsequent excavations at Kouyunjik and Nimroud fully verified this fact. 


and is further supported by blocks of stone, or wood, piled up 
under the body. On the sledge, in front of the bull, stands an 
oflScer giving directions with outstretched hands to the workmen. 
Cables, ropes, rollers, and levers are also employed on this occa- 
sion to move the gigantic sculpture. The captives are distinguished 
by the peculiar turbans before described.* Unfortunately the upper 
part of all the slabs has been destroyed, and much of the subject 
consequently wanting. 

We have thus represented, with remarkable fidelity and spirit f, 
the several processes employed to place these colossi where they 
still stand, from the transport down the river of the rough block 
to the final removal of the sculptured figure to the palace. From 
these bas-reliefs we find that the Assyrians were well acquainted 
with the lever and the roller, and that they ingeniously made 
use of the former by carrying with them wedges, of different 
dimensions, and probably of wood, to vary the height of the 
fulcrum. When moving the winged bulls and lions now in the 
British Museum from the ruins to the banks of the Tigris, I used 
almost the same means. { The Assyrians, being unable to con- 
struct a wheeled cart of sufiicient strength to carry so great a 
weight, employed a sledge, probably built of some hard wood 
obtained from the mountains. It seems to have been nearly solid, 
or to have been filled with beams, or decked, as the sculpture is 
raised above its sides. Unless the levers were brought from a 
considerable distance they must have been of poplar, no other 
beams of suflScient length existing in the country. Although 
weak, and liable to break with much strain, I found them strong 
enough for purposes of the same kind. The Assyrians, like the 
Egyptians, had made considerable progress in rope twisting, an art 
now only known in its rudest state in the same part of the East. 
The cables appear to be of great length and thickness, and ropes 
of various dimensions are represented in the sculptures. § 

* See woodcut, p. 105. 

f Although in these bas-reliefs, as in other Assyrian sculptures, no regard is 
paid to perspective, the proportions are very well kept. I must refer my readers 
to the 2d series of the Monuments of Nineveh for detailed drawings of these 
highly interesting sculptures. 

I See woodcut in the Abridgment of my "Nineveh and its Remains" (p. 297.), 
which may be compared with the Assyrian bas-reliefs, to show the difference 
between the ancient and modern treatment of a subject almost identic. 

§ There appears to be a curious allusion to ropes and cables of different sizes, 
and to their use for such purposes as that described in the text in Isaiah, v. 18. 
" Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity and sin 83 it were 

tp ffi^ \: 




I I 1 





I have given, for the sake of comparison, a\\oodciit of the well- 
known painting in an Egyptian grotto at El Ber^^heh of the moving 
of a colossal figure.* It will show how the Egyptians and Assyrians 
represented nearly a similar subject, and in what way these nations 
differed in their mode of artistic treatment. The Egyptian colossus 
is placed ui)on a sledge not unlike that of the Assyrian bas-reliefs 
in form, though smaller in comparison with the size of the figure, 
which appears in this case to have been about twenty-four feet 
high.t The ropes, four in number, as in the Kouyunjik sculptures, 
are all fastened to the fore part of the sledge, and arc pulled by 
the workmen without the aid of smaller cords. The absence of 
levers and rollers is remarkable, as the (Egyptians must have been 
well acquainted with the use of both, and no doubt employed 
them for moving heavy weights.^ On the statue, as in the Assyrian 
bas-reliefs, stands an officer who claps his hands in measured 
time to regulate the motions of the men, and from the front of the 
pedestal another {Kiurs some li<[uid, probably grease, on the ground 
to facilitate the progress of the sledge, which would scarcely l)C 
nee<led were rollers use<I.§ As in Assyria, the workmen included 
sLivcs and captives, who were accompanied by bands of armed 

As this curious representation is believed to be of the time of 
()sirtas*en II., a king of the seventeenth dynasty, who reigned, 
acronling to .M»me, about sixteen centuries before Christ, it is far 
more aneient than anv known Assyrian monument. The masse:? 
of solid ?«tone ni<»v<Ml l»v the l';rvptians also far exceeded in weij^ht 
anv srnlpturc that has vet Ikcii diseovered in Assyria, or anv 
UKinoIith on reenrd eonneeted witii tliat empire ; with the exe(»ption, 
|Krlia|»"<, «»r the eelelirated (»lM>Ii^k wiiicii, aeeonling to Diodorus 
Sieulu', was brouirhl 1)V Seinirainis from Armenia to l>al>vlon."i 

witli A rnrt ffp* ." A ino-f Ilili-ri'-tiliiJ rnllrrlion of :il)i>irnt K;r_vj>ti:iM rnnl;i;ji« 
«»t* .ihiP'-l i-\fry kiiiil h.!**«*Iv Imth |iur(-Ii:iM*<l l»y tlic Kivin'li (loviTniiu'iit iVnui 
C'l'-r M« V, :iiii) i* now in tli»* Lnmn*. 

• 'I 111- wiMiitiut li I" 1m'«mi t.ikrn ritiiii n drawin:' l)v Sir (ianliHT Wilkin>t»n, 
^Ti-> h.i> kiri-ilv iilliiutM iin- tn ii>4- it. It i* nii>r<- rurriTt in its detail}* than 
j»i%i-n iri |ii< w-irk *>u tip- Ani i^-nl JI;j\ pli.iii-, v«»l. iii. p. ''\'2^. 

♦ Wilkinson. \«»l. iii. p. :J'J7. 

I Hi-i'xI'tii" |>.irti< iil.nlv nii'Titinii*. |<'\it<< in Iii> account i»t* the tiaiiKpoit nf 
th<- ni<>n<ilith I't Sai« (liK. li. 17-7.). 

riii". i'-ik" .!«• ir tli«' -li'' wi-if nni\iii;' on an in* lin«'<l wav »»!* ho.n-iN 
• ■oii-trii«-ti-i| I'nr ill*' |iur|»<i*«'. 

A ( o]-i^«u» of' ::ranit<* ot' Kani('H«>« M , at thf Mrinnoniimi, wi>i:.'h«*il whrn rn- 
ilr.'. .u-i 'inlin^ to Sir (ianliKT W ilkin-'tm. »»*»7 ton> ; ami tho .»>tn|n-n«li»U'» niono- 

I U 


It 18 a singular fact, that whilst the quarries of Egypt bear 
witness of themselves to the stupendous nature of the works of 
the ancient inhabitants of the country, and still show on their 
sides engraved records of those who made them, no traces what- 
ever, notwithstanding the most careful research, have yet been 
found to indicate from whence the builders of the Assyrian palaces 
obtained their large slabs of alabaster. That they were in the im- 
n^iate neighbourhood of Nineveh there is scarcely any reason to 
doubt, as strata of this material, easily accessible, abound, not only 
in the hills but in the plains. This very abundance may have ren- 
dered any particular quarry unnecessary, and blocks were probably 
taken as required from convenient spots, which have since been 
covered by the soil. The alabaster now used at Mosul is cut 
near the Sinjar gate, to the north-west of the town. The blocks 
are rarely larger than can be carried on the backs of horses. 
These quarries also supply Baghdad, where this material is much 
prized for the pavement of baths and serdaubs, or underground 
summer apartments. 

There can be no doubt, as will hereafter be shown, that the king 
represented as superintending the building of the mounds and the 
placing of the colossal bulls is Sennacherib himself, and that the 
sculptures celebrate the building at Nineveh of the great palace 
and its adjacent temples described in the inscriptions as the work 
of this monarch. The bas-reliefs were accompanied in most in- 
stances by short epigraphs in the cuneiform character, containing a 
description of the subject with the name of the city to which the 
sculptures were brought. The great inscriptions on the bulls at 
the entrances of Kouyunjik record, it would seem, not only his- 
torical events, but, with great minuteness, the manner in which 
the edifice itself was erected, its general plan, and the various 
materials employed in decorating the halls, chambers, and roofs. 
When completely deciphered they will perhaps enable us to re- 
store, .with some confidence, both the general plan and elevation of 
the building. 

Unfortunately only fragments of these epigraphs have been pre- 
served. From them it would appear that the transport of more 
than one object was represented on the walls. Besides bulls and 
sphynxes in stone are mentioned figures in some kind of wood, per- 
haps of olive, like " the two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits 

lith in the temple of Latona, at Buto, wbicb, according to Herodotus, took 
2000 men during three entire years to move to its place, upwards of 5000. 
(AVilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, vol. lii. p. 331.) 

Chaf. v.] MOVING THE BULLa 117 

high,** in the temple of Solomon.* Over the king superintending 
the removfd of one of these colossi is the following short inscrip- 
tion thus translated by Dr. Hincks : — 

** Sennacherib^ king of Assyria, the great figures of bulls, which 
in the land of Belad, were made for his royal palace at Nineveh, 
he transported thither,^ (?) 

The land of Belad, mentioned in these inscriptions, appears to 
have been a district in the immediate vicinity of Nineveh, and 
probably on the Tigris, as these great masses of stone would have 
been quarried near the river for the greater convenience of moving 
them to the palace. The district of Belad may indeed have been 
that in which the city itself stood. 

Over the representation of the building of the mound there 
were two epigraphs, both precisely similar, but both unfortunately 
much mutilated. As far as they can be restored, they have thus 
been interpreted by Dr. Hincks : — 

" Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Hewn stones, which, as the 
godsf willed, were found in the land of Belad, for the walls (?) (or 
foundations, the word reads * shibrV) of my palace, / caused the 
inhabitants of foreign countries (?) and the people of the forests 
(Kershani) J, the great bulls for the gates of my palace to drag (?) 
(or bring)." 

If this inscription be rightly rendered, we have direct evi- 
dence that ca[»tives from foreign countries were employed in the 
great public works undertaken by the Assyrian kinj:^8, as we were 
led to infer, from the variety of costume represented in the bas- 
reliefs, and from the fetters on the lc<xs of some of the workmen. 
The Jews themselves, after their captivity, may have been thus 
condemned to labor, as their forefathers had been in Egypt, in 
erecting the monuments of their conquerors ; and we may, per- 
haps, recognise them amongst the builders portrayed in the sculp- 
tures. Two distinct objects apjwar to be mentioned in these 
ei)igraphs, — unhewn, or merely scjuared, stones for walls or founda- 
tions, and the colossiil bulls for the entrances ; unless some of the 

• 1 Kinjrsvi. 23. I shall hereafter compare the edifices built by Solomon 
with the AsMyrian palacets and ]N>Int out the reumrkuble illuBtrations of the 
J«'wi««h temple afforded by the latter. 

t A iKM:uliar deity is menti<med who probably preflide<l over the earth, but his 
name U as yet unknown ; it is here denoted by a monogram. 

I Comfiore the Hebrew Cnn^ khersli, a thick wood, or, jKirhaps, ;;nn,a stone- 
cut tcT, or a workman in itonc or wood. 

1 3 


small stones earned on the backs of the workmen are intended by 
the former, we find only the colossi represented in the bas-reliefs. 

From the long gallery, which appears to have been panelled 
with bas-reliefs, describing the removal of more than one object 
employed in the construction of the palace, we have unfortu- 
nately only three fragments of inscriptions without the sculp- 
tured representations of the events recorded. The most perfect is 
interesting on more than one account. According to Dr. Hincks 
it is to be translated : — 

" Sennacherib, king of Assyria .... (some object, the 
nature not ascertained) of wood, which from the Tigris I caused 
to be brought up {through ?) the Kharri, or Kliasri, on sledges (or 
boats), I caused to be carried (or to mount)." 

The name of the river in this inscription very nearly resembles 
that of the small stream which sweeps round the foot of the 
great mound of Kouyunjik. In the woodcut of the king super- 
intending the removal of the bull*, it will be perceived that 
two rivers, a smaller running into a larger, appear to be rudely 
represented. They correspond with the actual position of the 
Tigris and Khauser beneath Kouyunjik. It is possible, there- 
fore, that the latter stream was deepened or enlarged, so as to 
enable the Assyrians to float heavy masses close to the mound ; 
and from the bas-relief it would appear that the bull was moved 
from the very edge of the water up the artificial declivity. At 
that time, however, the Tigris was nearer to the palace than it 
now is to the ruins, its course having varied considerably at dif- 
ferent periods ; but its ancient bed is still indicated by recent allu- 
vial deposits. 

In the fragment of another epigraph, we have mention of some 
objects also of wood " brought from Mount Lebanon, and taken 
up (to the top of the mound) from the Tigris." These may have 
been beams of cedar, which, it will be hereafter seen, were exten- 
sively used in the Assyrian palaces. It is highly interesting thus 
to find the inhabitants of Nineveh fetching their rare and pre- 
cious woods from the same spot that king Solomon had brought 
the choicest woodwork of the temple of the Lord and of his own 

On a third fragment similar objects are described as coming 
from or up the same Kharri or Khasri. 

I have mentioned that the long gallery containing the bas-relief 
representing the moving of the great stone, led out of a chamber, 

* Ante^ page 111. 

Chap, v.] CAPTURE OP A CITY. 119 

whose walls had been completely uncovered.* The sculptures 
upon them were partly preserved, and recorded the conquest of 
a city standing on a broad river, in the midst of mountains and 
forests. The Assyrians appear to have entered the enemy's 
country by a valley, to have forded the stream frequently, and 
to have continued during their march along its banks. Warriors 
on foot led their horses, and dragged the chariots over precipi- 
tous rocks. On each side of the river were wooded hills, with 
small streams flowing amongst vineyards. As they drew near 
to the city, the Assyrians cut down the woods to clear the ap- 
proaches. Amongst the branches of a tree exceeding the others 
in size, and standing immediately beneath the walls, were birds 
and two nests containing their young. The sculptor probably in- 
troduced these accessories to denote the season of the year. The 
river appeared to flow through or behind the city. Long low 
walls with equidistant towers, the whole surmounted by cornices 
and angular battlements, stood on one side of the stream. Within 
the walls were large square buildings, curiously ornamented, and 
whose windows, immediately beneath the roof, were formed by small 
pillars with capitals in the form of the Ionic volute. The doors, 
except the entrance to the castle which was arched, were square, and, 
in some instances, surmounted by a plain cornice. That part of the 
city standing on the opposite side of the river, seemed to consist 
of a number of detached forts and houses, some of which had also 
oi>en balustrades to admit tlie light. Flames issued from the 
dwellings, and on the towers were men apparently cutting down 
trccb growing within the walls. Assyrian warriors, marching in 
a long line, carried away the spoil from the burning city. Some 
were latlen w ith arms ; others with furniture, chairs, stools, 
couches, and tables of various fonns, ornamented with the heads 
an<l feet of animals. They were probably of metal, perhaps of 
gold or silver. The couches, or beds, borne by two men, had a 
curved head. Some of the chairs had high backs, and the tables 
rc^^einbled in shajx; the modern camp-stool. 

The last bas-relief of the series represented the king seated 
within a fortified camp, on a throne of elaborate workmanship, 
and having beneath his feet a footstool of equally elegant form. 
He was receiving the captives, who wore long robes falling to 
their ankles. Unfortunately no inscription remained by which 
we might identify the conquered nation. It is probable, from 

• X«». XLVIII. Plan I. Sec Monuments of Nineveh, 2J scries, Plate 40. 

1 4 


the nature of the country represented, that they inhabited some 
district in the western part of Asia Minor or in Armenia, in 
which direction, as we shall hereafter see, Sennacherib more than 
once carried his victorious arms. The circular fortified walls en- 
close tents, within which are seen men engaged in various domestic 

It will be remembered that excavations had been resumed in a 
lofty mound in the north-west line of walls forming the enclosure 
round Kouyunjik. It was apparently the remains of a gate leading 
into this quarter of the city, and part of a building, with fragments of 
two colossal winged figures*, had already been discovered in it. By 
the end of November the whole had been explored, and the results 
were of considerable interest. As the mound rises nearly fifty feet 
above the plain, we were obliged to tunnel along the walls of the 
building within it, through a compact mass of rubbish, consist- 
ing almost entirely of loose bricks. Following the rows of low 
limestone slabs, from the south side of the mound, and passing 
through two halls or chambers, we came at length to the opposite 
entrance. This gateway, facing the open country, was formed by 
a pair of majestic human-headed bulls, fourteen feet in length, 
still entire, though cracked and injured by fire. They were 
similar in form to those of Khorsabad and Kouyunjik, wearing 
the lofty head-dress, richly ornamented with rosettes, and edged 
with a fringe of feathers peculiar to that period. Wide spreading 
wings rose above their backs, and their, breasts and bodies were 
profusely adorned with curled hair. Behind them were colossal 
winged figures of the same height, bearing the pine cone and 
basket. Their faces were in full, and the relief was high and bold. 
More knowledge of art was shown in the outline of the limbs and 
in the delineation of the muscles, than in any sculpture I have seen 
of this period. The naked leg and foot were designed with a spirit 
and truthfulness worthy of a Greek artist. f It is, however, remark- 
able that the four figures were unfinished, none of the details having 
been put in, and parts being but roughly outlined. They stood as 
if the sculptors had been interrupted by some public calamity, and 
had left their work incomplete. Perhaps the murder of Senna- 

* Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i. p. 146. 

f The bulls and winged figures resembled those from Khorsabad, now in the 
great hall at the British Museum, but far exceeded them in beaut/ and grandeur, 
as well as in preservation. As nearly similar figures had thus already been sent 
to England, I did not think it advisable to remove them. 


cherib by his sons, as he worshipped in the house of Nisroch his 
god, put a sudden stop to the great undertakings he had com- 
menced in the beginning of his reign. 

The sculptures to the left, on entering from the open country, 
were in a far more unfinished state than those on the opposite side. 
The hair and beard were but roughly marked out, square bosses 
being left for carving the elaborate curls. The horned cap of the 
human-headed bull was, as yet, unornamented, and the wings 
merely outlined. The limbs and features were hard and angular, 
still requiring to be rounded off', and to have expression given to 
them by the finishing touch of the artist. The other two figures 
were more perfect. The curls of the beard and hair (except on one 
side of the head of the giant) and the ornaments of the head-dress 
had been completed. The limbs of the winged deity and the 
body and legs of the bull had been sufficiently finished to give a 
bold and majestic character to the figures, which might have been 
rather lessened than improved by the addition of details. The 
wings of the giant were merely in outline. The sculptor had 
begun to mark out the feathers in those of the bull, but had been 
interrupted after finishing one row and commencing a second.* 
No inscription had yet been carved on either sculpture. 

The entrance formed by these colossal bulls was fourteen feet 
and a quarter wide. It was paved with large slabs of lime- 
stone, still bearing the marks of chariot wheels. The sculptures 
were buried in a mass of brick and earth, mingled with char- 
coal and charred wood ; for " the gates of the land had been set 
wide open unto the enemy, and the fire had devoured the bars*"! 
They were lighted from above by a deep shaft sunk from the top 
of the mound. It would be difficult to describe the effect pro- 
duced, or the reflections suggested by these solemn and majes- 
tic figures, dimly visible amidst the gloom, when, after winding 
through the dark, underground passages, you suddenly came into 
their presence. Between them Sennacherib and his hosts had gone 
forth in all their might and glory to the conquest of distant lands, 
and had returned rich with spoil and captives, amongst whom may 
have been the handmaidens and wealth of Israel. Through them, 
too, the Assyrian monarch had entered his capital in shame, after 
bis last and fatal defeat Then the lofty walls, now but long lines 

* See Plate 3. of the 2d series of the Monuments of Nineveh. The giant is 
correct! J represented in its unfinished state in this plate, but the artist bj mis- 
take has filled up the details in the wings of the bulls. 

t Nahum, iiL 13. 




of low, wave-like mounds, had stretched far to the right and to the 
left — a basement of stone supporting a curtiun of solid brick ma- 
sonry, crowned with battlements and studded with frowning towers. 

This entrance may have been arched like the castle gates of the 
bas-reliefs, and the mass of burnt bricks around tlie sculptures 
may be the remains of the vault. A high tower evidently rose 
above this gate, which formed the great Qorthcrn access to this 
quarter of Nineveh. 

Behind the colossal figures, and between the outer and inner face 
of the gateway, were two chambers, nearly 70 feet in length 
by 23 in breadth. Of that part of the entrance which was within 
the walls, only the fragments of winged figures, discovered during 
my previous researches, now remained.* It is probable, however, 
that a second pair of human-headed bulls once stood there. They 
may have been " the figures of animals," described to Mr. Kich 
as having been casually uncovered In this mound, and which were 
broken up nearly fifly years ago to furnish materials for the repair 
of a bridge, t 

The whole entrance thus consisted of two distinct chambers and 
three gateways, two formed by human-headed bulls, and a third 
between them simply panelled with low limestone slabs like the 

• See Nineveh and its Remaing, vol. S. p. 143. 

t See Bich'a Bendeace in Eunjutu and Nineveh, vol. ii. p. S9. 


chambers. Its original height, including the tower, must have 
been full one hundred feet. Most of the baked bricks found 
amongst the rubbish bore the uame of Sennacherib, the builder of 
the palace of Koujunjik. A similar gateway, but without any 
remains of sculptured figures, and panelled with plain alabaster 
slabs, was subsequently discovered in the inner line of walls 
forming the eastern side of the quadrangle, where the road to 
Baashiekhah and Baazani leaves the ruins. 

At Nimroud discoveries of very considerable importance were 
made in the high conical mound at the north-west corner. De- 
sirous of fully exploring that remarkable ruin, I had employed 
nearly all the workmen in opening a tunnel into its western base. 
After penetrating for no less than eighty-four feet through a com- 
pact mass of rubbish, composed of loose gravel, earth, burnt bricks, 
and fragments of stone, the excavators came to a wall of solid 
stone masonry. The manner in which this structure had been 
buried is so curious, that I have given a section of the different 
strata through which the tunnel passed.* I have already observed 
that the edifice covered by this high mound was originally built 
upon the natural rock, a bank of hard conglomerate rising about 
fifteen feet above the plain, and washed in days of yore by the 
waters of the Tigris. Our tunnel was carried for thirty- four feet 
on a level with this rock, which appears to have been covered by a 
kind of flooring of sun-dried bricks, probably once forming a plat- 
form in front of the buildinjr. It was buried to the distance 
of thirty feet from the wall, by baked bricks broken and en- 
tire, and by fragments of stone, remains of the superstructure 
onoe resting upon the basement of still existing stone masonry. 
This mass of rubbish was about thirty feet high, and in it 
were found bones apparently human, and a yellow earthen jar 
rudely colored with simple black dcsigns.f The rest of this part 
of tlie mound consisted of earth, through which ran two thin lines 
of extraneous deposit, one (ff pebble Sy the other of fragments of 
brick ancl pottery. I am totally at a loss to account for their 

I ordered tunnels to be carried along the basement wall in both 
directions, hoj>in;^ to reach some doorway or entrance, but it was 
found to consist <»f solid masonry, extending nearly the whole length 
of the mound. Its height was exactly twenty feet, which, sin- 

• S^-v nei'tion of ofmical mound. Plan II. 

t TlMiit* n*Iio« xwsiy have lM.'lt)nge«l tu ti>inbs made in the n»oun<l after the 
e<litice bail fallen into ruins. 

Chap, v.] DISCOVERY OF TOWER. 125 

gularly enough, coincides with that assigned by Xenopfaon to the 
stone basement of the wall of the city (Larissa).* It was finished 
at the top by a line of gradines, forming a kind of ornamental 
battlement, similar to those represented on castles in the sculp- 

ture. p"" '. . These gradines had fallen, and some of them 

were discovered in the rubbish.f The stones in this structure were 
carefully fitted together, though not united with mortar, unless the 
earth which filled the crevices was the remains of mud used, as it 
still is in the country, as a cement. They were bevelled with a 
slanting bevel, and in the face of the wall were eight recesses or 
false windows, four on each side of a square projecting block 
between gradines. 

The basement, of which this wall proved to be only one face, 
was not excavated on the northern and eastern side until a later 
period, but I will describe all the discoveries connected with this 
singular building at once. The northern side was of the same 
height as, and resembled in its masonry, the western. It had a 
semicircular hollow projection in the centre, sixteen feet in dia- 
meter, on the east side of which were two recesses, and on the 
west four, so that the two ends of the wall were not uniform. 
That part of the basement against which the great artificial mound 
or platform abutted, and which was consequently concealed by it, 
that is, the eastern and southern sides, was of simple stone masonry 
without recesses or ornament. The upper part of the edifice, 
resting on the stone substructure, consisted of compact masonry of 
}»urnt bricks, which were mostly inscribed with the name of the 
founder of the centre palace (the obelisk king), the inscription 
being in many instances turned outwards. 

It was thus evident that the high conical mound forming the 
north west corner of the ruins of Nimroud, was the remains of a 
square tower, and not of a pyramid, as had previously been conjec- 
tured. The lower part, built of solid stone masonry, had with- 
8too<l the wreck of ages, but the upper walls of burnt brick, and 
the inner mass of sun-tlricd brick which they encased, falling out- 
wanls, and having been subi^equently covered with earth and vege- 
tation, the ruin had taken the pyramidal form that loose materials 
falling in this manner wouhl naturally assume. 

It is very probable that this ruin represents the tomb of Sarda- 

• Anab. lib. iii. c 4. 

t Part of a wall, pnMMsely similar in ronstruction, still cxistJ« on ono j«i<lc of 
ibf jjreal inoun<l of KaUh Slicrghat. (Nineveh and its Komainjs vol. ii. p. Gl ) 


napalus, which, according to the Greek geographers, stood at the 
entrance of the city of Nineveh. It will hereafter be seen that it 
is not impossible the builder of the north-west palace of Nimroud 
was a king of that name, although it is doubtful whether he can 
be identified with the historical Sardanapalus. Subsequent dis- 
coveries proved that he must himself have raised the stone sub- 
structure, although his son, whose name is found upon the bricks, 
completed the building, j^ was, of course, natural to conjecture 
that some traces of the chamber in which the royal remains were 
deposited, were to be found in the ruin, and I determined to 
examine it as fully as I was able. Having first ascertained the 
exact centre of the western stone basement, I there forced a 
passage through it. This was a work of some difficulty, as the 
wall was 8 ft. 9 in. thick, and strongly built of large rough stones. 
Having, however, accomplished this step, I carried a tunnel com- 
pletely through the mound, at its very base, and on a level with the 
natural rock, until we reached the opposite basement wall, at a 
distance of 150 feet. Nothing having been discovered by this 
cutting, I directed a second to be made at right angles to it, 
crossing it exactly in the centre, and reaching from the northern 
to the southern basement ; but without any discovery. At the 
point where they intersected, and therefore precisely in the centre 
of the building, I dug down through the solid conglomerate to 
the depth of five feet, but without finding any traces whatever 
of an ancient disturbance of the soil. I was unable to make 
further excavations in this part of the ruin, on account of the 
enormous mass of superincumbent earth, and the great risk to 
which the men were exposed from its falling in. 

The next cutting was made in the centre of the mound, on 
a line with the top of the stone basement wall, which was also 
the level of the platform of the north-west palace. The work- 
men soon came to a narrow gallery, about 100 feet long, 12 
feet high, and 6 feet broad, which was blocked up at the two 
ends without any entrance being left into it. It was vaulted 
with sun-dried bricks, a further proof of the use of the arch at 
a very early period, and the vault had in one or two places 
fallen in. No remains whatever were found in it, neither frag- 
ments of sculpture or inscription, nor any smaller relic. There 
were, however, undoubted traces of its having once been broken 

• The walls, as well as the vault, were of sun-dried bricks. It is curious that 
between one row of bricks was a layer of reeds, as in the Babylonian ruins ; the 
only instance of this mode of construction yet met with in Assyria. 


into on the western side, by digging into the face of the mound 
after the edifice was in ruins, and consequently, therefore, long 
after the fall of the Assyrian empire. There was an evident 
depression in the exterior of the mound, which could be perceived 
by an observer from the plain, and the interior vault had been 
forced through. The remains which it may have contained, 
probably the embalmed body of the king, with vessels of precious 
metals and other objects of value buried with it, had been carried 
oiF by those who had opened the tomb at some remote period, in 
search of treasure. They must have had some clue to the precise 
position of the chamber, or how could they have dug into the 
mound exactly at the right spot ? Had this depositary of the dead 
escaped earlier violation, who can tell with what valuable and im- 
portant relics of Assyrian art or Assyrian history it might have 
furnished us ? I explored, with feelings of great disappointment, 
the empty chamber, and then opened other tunnels, without further 
results, in the upper parts of the mound. 

It was evident that the long gallery or chamber I have described 
was the place of deposit for the body of the king, if this were 
really his tomb. The tunnels and cuttings in other parts of the 
mound only exposed a compact and solid mass of sun-dried brick 
masonry. I much doubt, for many reasons, whether any sepulchre 
exists in the rock beneath the foundations of the tower, though, of 
course, it is not impossible that such may be the case.* 

From the present state of the ruin it is difficult to conjecture the 
exact original form and height of this edifice. There can be no doubt 
that it was a vast square tower, and it is not improbable that it may 
have terminated in a series of three or more gradines, like the obelisk 
of black marble from the centre palace now in the British Museum. 
It is this shape that I have ventured to give it, in a general 
restoration of the platform of Nimroud and its various edifices, f 

* Col. Rawlinson, remarks in his memoir on the " Outlines of Assyrian 
History" (published by the Royal Asiatic Society in 1 852), that " the great 
pyramid at Nimroud was erected by the son of the builder of the north-west 
palace ;' and as the Greeks name that monument the tomb of Sardanapalus, he 
believes that " a shaft sunk into the centre of the mound, and carried down to the 
foundations,would lay bare the original sepulchre. The difficulties (he adds) of such 
an operation have hitherto prevented it-s execution, but the idea is not altogether 
abandoned." He appears thus, curiously enough, to be ignorant of the excava- 
tions in that ruin described in the text, although he had just visited Nimroud. 
The only likely place not yet examined would be beneath the very foundations. 

f In the frontispiece to the 2d series of the Monuments of Nineveh. I am 
indebted to Mr. Fergusson, who was good enough to make the original drawing, 
for this restoration so ably executed by Mr. Baines. 

Chap, v.] • TEZIDI ALARM. 129 

Like the palaces, too, it was probably painted on the outside with 
various mythic figures and devices, and its summit may have been 
crowned by an altar, on which the Assyrian king oiFered up his great 
sacrifices, or on which was fed the ever-burning sacred fire. But 
I will defer any further remarks upon this subject until I treat of 
the architecture of the Assyrians. 

As the ruin is 140 feet high, the building could scarcely have 
been much less than 200, whilst the immense mass of rubbish 
surrounding and covering the base shows that it might have been 
considerably more. 

During the two months in which the greater part of the dis- 
coveries described in this chapter were made, I was occupied almost 
entirely with the excavations, my time being spent between Nim- 
roud and Kouyunjik. The only incidents worth noting were a 
visit from Hussein Bey, Sheikh Nasr, and the principal chiefs 
of the Yezidis, and a journey taken with Hormuzd to Khorsabad 
and the neighbouring ruins. 

The heads of the Yezidi sect came to Mosul to settle some 
difTerences with the Turkish authorities about the conscription. 
They lodged in my house. Sheikh Nasr had only once before 
ventured into the town, and then but for a few hours. To 
treat them with due honor I gave an entertainment, and initiated 
them into the luxuries of Turkish cookery. We feasted in the 
I wan, an arched hall open to the courtyard, which was lighted 
up at night with niashaals, or bundles of flaming rags saturated 
with bitumen, and raised in iron baskets on high poles, casting a 
flood of rich red light u\H)n surrounding objects. The Yezidis 
jicrforined their dances to Mosul music before the chiefs. Sud- 
denly the doors were thrown open, and a band of Arabs, stripped 
to tlie waist, brandishing their weapons and shouting their war- 
cry, ru>hed into the yard. The Yezidis believed that they had 
been l>etrayed. The young chief drew his sword ; and even 
Sheikh Nasr, springing to his feet, prepared to defend himself. 
Their fears, however, gave way to a hearty laugh, when they 
learnt that the intruders were a band of my workmen, who had 
been instigated by Mr. Hormuzd Kassam thus to alarm my 

\Vi<<hing to visit Baasheikhah, Khorsabad, and other ruins at the 
foot of the range of low hills of the Gebel Makloub, I left Nlm- 
rou<l on the 26th of November with Hormuzd and the Bairakdar. 
Four hours' ride brought us to some small artificial mounds near 
the village of Lak, about three miles to the east of the higU vo^^i 



to Mosul. Here we found a party of workmen excavating under 
one of the Christian superintendents. Nothing had been dis- 
covered except fragments of pottery and a few bricks bearing the 
name of the Kouyunjik king. As the ruins, from their size, did 
not promise other results, I sent the men back to Mosul. We 
reached Khorsabad after riding for nearly eight hours over a rich 
plain, capable of very high cultivation, though wanting in water, 
and still well stocked with villages, between which we startled large 
flocks of gazelles and bustards. I had sent one of my overseers 
there some days before to uncover the platform to the west of 
the principal edifice, a part of the building I was desirous of ex- 
amining. Whilst clearing away the rubbish, he had discovered 
two bas-reliefs sculptured in black stone. They represented a 
hunting scene. On one slab, broken into several pieces, was an. 
eunuch discharging an arrow at a flying bird, probably a pigeon 
or partridge. He was dressed in a fringed robe, confined at 
the waist by a girdle, and a short sword hung from his shoulder 
by a broad and richly ornamented belt. The ends of his bow 
were in the shape of the heads of birds. Behind the archer were 
two figures, one carrying a gazelle over his shoulder and a hare 
in his hand, the other wearing an embroidered tunic, and armed 
with a bow and arrows. In the back ground were trees, and birds 
flying amongst them.* On the second slab were huntsmen carry- 
ing birds, spears, and bows. 

These bas-reliefs were executed with much truth and spirit. 
They belonged to a small building, believed to be a temple^ 
entirely constructed of black marble, and attached to the palace. 
It stood upon a platform 165 feet in length and 100 in widths 
raised about 6 feet above the level of the flooring of the cham- 
bers, and ascended from the main building by a flight of broad 
steps. This platform, or stylobate, is remarkable for a cornice 
in grey limestone carried round the four sides, — one of the few 
remains of exterior decoration in Assyrian architecture, with which 
we are acquainted. It is carefully built of separate stones, placed 
side by side, each forming part of the section of the cornice. Mr. 
Fergusson observes f, with reference to it, "at first sight it 
seems almost purely Egyptian ; but there are peculiarities in 
which it diff'ers from any found in that country, especially in the 
curve being continued beyond the vertical tangent, and the conse- 

♦ See Plate 32. of the 2d series of the Monuments of Nineveh. This bas- 
relief, which has been perfectly repaired, is now in the British Museum, 
f Palaces of Nineveh and Persepolis restored, p. 223. 


quent projectiuD of the torus giving a second shadow. Whether 
the effect of this would be pleasant or not in a cornice placed eo 

high that we must look up to it is not quite clear ; but below the 
level of the eye, or slightly above it, the result must have been more 
pleasing than any form found in Egypt, and where sculpture is not 
added might be used with efTcct anywhere." 

Many fragments of bas-reliefs in the same black marble, chiefly 
parts of winged Bgures, had been uncovered ; but this building has 
been more completely destroyed than any other part of the palace of 
Khorsabad, and there is scarcely enough rubbish even to cover the 
few remains of sculpture which are scattered over the platform. 

The sculptures in the palace itself had rapidly fallen to decay, 
and of those which had been left exposed to the air after M. Botta's 
dejMirturc scarcely any traces remained. Some, however, had been 
coviTcd up and parlly preserved by the faliinir in of the high walls 
of earth forming the sides of the trenches. Here and there a pair 
of colossal bulls, still guarding the portnls of the ruined halls, 
raised their majestic but weatiier-bcntcn human heads above the 
soil. In one or two unexplored parts of the ruins my workmen 
ha<I found inscrilwd altars or tri[KMls, similar to that in the Assyrian 
ci'llt'ction of the Louvre, and bricks oniamentcil with figures and 
dcsi^rns in color, showing that they had belonged to walls painted 
with subjects rcseniMing those sculptured on the alabaster panels. 

Since my former visit to Khorsabad, the French consul at Mosul 
had Wild to Cul. Kawlinson the pair of culos^nl Inmian-lieadcd bulls 
and winged figures, now in the great hull of the Uritiali Museum.' 

* Tlic«« twulpiurcii neie purrliaiod lij tW Trusico* of (he Britiiih ^lutcum 
ti-iu ('•.). Itiiirllii»c.n. Owiti).' tolhit inrvk-s'iic^* anil neglect, uf wliicli then.' hns 
tiern to iDui'b raiiK to min[>l:iin in all that ctmi-rrn* ihe rranxport of the 
Anvrikn ■ntii|uilipi lo this c<>iintrir, thpj havi! iiun«rtil very ronsiilcrubli: in- 
jur! -inri; th''ir ilivovfrj. Ther were *avn into many piwM for fadlitj of 
tiau(|>ort l>j U17 maiblu-cutler Ik'hnan, HijicriiiloniUil by .Mr. Kusuu. 


Ther Had Btood in a propvkeuin, about 900 feet to the sootli-eaflt of 
the palace, within the quadrangle, but not npoo the artificial moimd. 
In form this email building appears to hare been nearij the same 
as the gateway, in the walb of Koujunjik*, and like it was bmlt of 
brick and panelled with low limestone slabs. From the nmnber 
of enamelled bricks discovered in the ruins it is probable that it 
was richly decorated in color.f 

Trenches had also been opened in one of the lugfaer moands in 
the line of walls, and in the group of ruins at the S. W. corner of 
the quadrangle, but no discoveries of anv interest had been made. 
The centre of the quadrangle was now occupied by a fever-breeJUng 
marsh formed by the waters of the Khauscr. 

We passed the night at Futhliyah, a village built at the foot of the 
Gebel Makloub, about a mile and a half from Khorsabad. A small 
grove of olive trees renders it a conspicuous object even from 
Mosul, whence it looks like a dark shadow on the tawny plain. 
Although once containing above two hundred houses it has now 
but sixty. It formerly belonged to the Mosul spahis, or military 
fief-holders, and is still claim^ by them, although the government 
has abolished such tenures. We lodged in a well-built stone kasr, 
or large house, fast falling into ruins, belonging to the Alai Bey, or 
chief of the spahis. Selim Bey, one of the former tenants of the 
land, still lingered about the place, gathering together such small 
revenues in money and in kind as he could raise amongst the more 
charitable of the inhabitants^ He came to me in the morning, and 
gave me the history of the village and of its owners. 

Near Futhliyah, and about twenty-two miles from the palace of 
Khorsabad, is a lofty conical Tel visible from Mosul, and from most 
parts of the surrounding country. It is one of those isolated mounds 
so numerous in the plains of Assyria, which do not appear to form 
part of any group of ruins, and the nature of which I have been 
unable to determine. Its vicinity to Khorsabad led me to be- 
lieve that it might have been connected with those remains, and 
might have been raised over a torab. By my directions deep 
trenches were opened into its sides, but only fragments of pottery 
were discovered. The place is, however, worthy of a more com- 
plete examination than the time and means at my disposal would 

From Futhliyah we rode across the plain to the large village of 
Baazani, chiefly inhabited by Yezidis. There we found Hussein 

* See plan, p. 122. j- Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i. p. 52. 

Cbjlp. v.] baasheikhah. 133 

Bey, Sheikh Nasr, and a large party of Cawals assembled at the 
house of one Abd* ur-rahman Chelibi, a Mussulman gentleman of 
Mosul, who had farmed the revenues of the place. 

Near Baazani are a group of artificial mounds of no great size. 
The three principal have been used as burying-places by the 
Yezidis, and are covered with their graves and white conical 
tombs. Although no difficulties would have been thrown in my 
way had I wished to excavate in these ruins, they did not appear 
to me of sufficient importance to warrant an injury to the feelings 
of these poor people by the desecration of the resting*i)laces of 
their dead. Having examined them, therefore, and taken leave 
of the chiefs, I rode to the neighbouring village of Baasheikhah, 
only separated from Baazani by a deep watercourse, dry except 
during the rains. Both stand at the very foot of the Gebel 
I^Iakloub. Immediately behind them are craggy ravines worn by 
winter torrents. In these valleys are quarries of the kind of ala- 
baster used in the Assyrian palaces, but I could find no re- 
mains to show that the Assyrians had obtained their great slabs 
from them, although they appear to be of ancient date. They are 
now worked by the Yezidis, who set apart the proceeds for Sheikh 
Nasr, as the highpriest of the tomb of Sheikh Adi. The stone 
quarried from them is used for the houses both of Baazani and 
Baasheikhah, which consequently have a more cleanly and sub- 
stantial appearance than is usually the case in this part of 
Turkey. Indeed, both villages are flourishing, chiefly owing to 
the industry of their Yczicli inhabitants, and their cultivation of 
several large groves of olive trees, which produce the only olive 
oil in the country. Mixed with the Yezidis are some families of 
Jjicoliitc Christians, who live in peace and good understanding 
with their neighbours. 

I have already mentioned, in my fonner work*, the Assyrian 
ruin near Baasheikhah. It is a va^st mound, littld inferior in size 
to Ximroud, irregular in shape, uneven in level, and furrowed 
by deep ravines worn by the winter rains. Standing, as it does, 
near abundant quarries of the favorite sculpture-material of the 
Aj4i*yrians, and resembling the platforms of Kouyunjik or Khor- 
Habad, there was every probability that it contained the remains of 
an edifice like tho«e ruins. There are a few low mounds scattered 
around it, but no distinct line of walls forming an inclosure. During 
tiie fonner excavations only earthen jars, and bricks, inscribed 

* Nineveh and its Remains, toI. i. p. 52. 

K 3 




with the name of the founder of the centre palace at Nimroud, 
had been diecoTered.* A party of Arabs and Tiyari were now 
opening trenchea and tunnels in various parts of the mound, 
under the superintendence of Yakoub Rais of Asheetha. The 
workmen had uncovered, on the west side of the ruia near the 
surface, some large blocks of yellowish limestone apparently fonn- 
ing a flight of steps; the only other antiquities of any interest 
found during the excavations were a few bricks bearing the name 
of the early Nimroud king, and numerous fragments of earth- 
enware, apparently belonging to the covers of some earthen vessels, 
having the guilloche and honeysuckle alternating with the cone and 
tulip, as on the oldest monuments of Nimroud, painted upon them 
in black upon a pale-yellow ground.t 

It is remarkable that no remains of more interest have been dis- 
covered in this mound, which must contain a monument of consider- 
able size and antiquity. Although the trenches opened in it were 
numerous and deep, yet the ruin has not yet probably been suffi- 
ciently examined. It can Bcarcely be doubted that on the artificial 
platform, as on others of the same nature, stood a royal palace, 
or some monument of equal importance. 

* The fragment of sculpture brought me hj i 
during the former expedition, waa, I bave reason 

t Now in the British Museum. Thej appear to belong t 
jecta, probably the coTors to some funeral or other vaaes. 
series of the Monuments of Nineveh. 

PiitiN"'; the niontli of Dcccmlicr, scvcnil dUcoverits of tlie greatest 
intt-re^t nml ini|iurtanec were made, both at Kuujunjlk mid Niiii- 
roiiil. I will (ir«t describe the rcdulta of tlic cxcavntiona in the 

I inii^t remind the reader that, sliortly Iieforo my departure for 
Eun>|ie in 1K4H, the forepart of a huinan-Iicnded bull of coKist^id 
dimensions had l>een uncovered on the east side of the Kouyiinjik 
I'lilacc.* Tliia sculpture then npjfcared to fumi one side of au 

' Xiiievvb anJ iti Remain' 

i. p. 137. 


entrance or doorway, and It is so placed In the plan of the ruins 
accompanying my former work.* The excavations had, however, 
been abandoned before any attempt could be made to ascertain 
the fact. On my return, I had directed the workmen to dig out 
the opposite sculpture. A tunnel, nearly 100 feet In length, was 
accordingly opened at right angles to the bull first discovered, 
but without coming upon any other remains than a pavement of 
square limestone slabs which stretched without Interruption as far 
as the excavation was carried. I consequently discontinued the 
cutting, as It was evident that no entrance could be of so great a 
width, and as there were not even traces of building In that 

The workmen having been then ordered to uncover the bull 
which was still partly buried in the rubbish, it was found that ad- 
joining It were other sculptures, and that It formed part of an 
exterior facade. The upper half of the next slab had been de- 
stroyed, but the lower still remained, and enabled me to restore the 
figure of the Assyrian Hercules strangling the lion, similar to that 
discovered between the bulls in the propylsea of Khorsabad, and now 
In the Louvre, The hinder part of the animal was still preserved. 
Its claws grasped the huge limbs of the giant, who lashed it with 
the serpent-headed scourge. The legs, feet, and drapery of the 
god were in the boldest relief, and designed with great truth and 
vigor. Beyond this figure. In the same line, was a second bull. 
The fa5ade then opened Into a wide portal, guarded by a pair of 
winged bulls, twenty feet long, and probably, when entire, more 
than twenty feet high. Forming the angle between them and 
the outer bulls were gigantic winged figures in low relief t> ^nd 
flanking them were two smaller figures, one above the other.J Be- 
yond this entrance was a group similar to and corresponding with 
that on the opposite side, also leading to a smaller entrance Into 
the palace, and to a wall of sculptured slabs; but here all traces of 
building and sculpture ceased, and we found ourselves near the 
edge of the water-worn ravine. 

Thus a facade of the south-east side of the palace, forming 
apparently the grand entrance to the edifice, had been disco- 
vered. Ten colossal bulls, with six human figures of gigantic 

* Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. — plan of Kouyunjik, 

t Nos. 4. and 9. Grand entrance, S.E. side, Plan I. These figures were those 

of winged priests, or deities, carrying the fir-cone and basket. 

I Nos. 5. and 8. Same entrance. The small figures resembled No. 2. in 

Plate 6. of 2d series of Monuments of Nineveh. 


proportions, were here grouped together, and the length of the 
whole, without including the sculptured walls continued beyond 
the smaller entrances, was 180 feet.* Although the bas-reliefs 
to the right of the northern gateway had apparently been pur- 
posely destroyed with a sharp instrument, enough remained to 
allow me to trace their subject. They had represented the con- 
quest of a district, probably part of Babylonia, watered by a broad 
river and wooded with palms, spearmen on foot in combat with 
Assyrian horsemen, castles besieged, long lines of prisoners, and 
beasts of burden carrying away the spoil. Amongst various ani- 
mals brought as tribute to the conquerors, could be distinguished 
a lion led by a chain. There were no remains whatever of the 
superstructure which once rose above the colossi, guarding this 
magnificent entrance ; but I shall hereafter more particularly de- 
scribe the principal decorations and details of Assyrian architecture, 
and shall endeavor to restore, as far as the remains still existing 
will permit, the exterior and interior of the palaces of Nineveh. 

The bulls, as I have already observed, were all more or less in- 
jured. The same convulsion of nature — for I can scarcely attribute 
to any human violence the overthrow of these great masses — had 
shattered some of them into pieces, and scattered the fragments 
amongst the ruins. Fortunately, however, the lower parts of all, 
and, consequently, the inscriptions, had been more or less pre- 
served. To this fact we owe the recovery of some of the most 
precious records with which the monuments of the ancient world 
have rewarded the labors of the antiquary. 

On the great bulls forming the centre portal of the grand en- 
trance, was one continuous inscription, injured in parts, but still so 
far preserved as to be legible almost throughout. It contained 152 
lines. On the four bulls of the fa9ade were two inscriptions, one 
inscription being carried over each pair, and the two being of pre- 
cisely the same import. These two distinct records contain the 
annals of six years of the reign of Sennacherib, besides numerous 
particulars connected with the religion of the Assyrians, their 
gods, their temples, and the erection of their palaces, all of the 
highest interest and importance. 

In my first work I had pointed out the evidence, irrespective of 
the inscriptions, which led me to identify the builder of the great 

* The frontispiece to this volume will convey to the reader some idea of this 
magnificent facade when entire. This restoration, for which I am mainly in- 
debted to Mr. Fergusson, has been made with a careful regard to the exact pro- 


palace of Kouyunjik with Sennacherib.* Dr. Hincks, in a me- 
moir on the inscriptions of Khorsabad, read in June, 1849, but 
published in the " Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy "f, in 
1850, was the first to detect the name of this king in the group 
of arrowheaded characters at the commencement of nearly all the 
inscriptions, and occurring on all the inscribed bricks from the ruins 
of this edifice. Subsequent discoveries confirmed this identification, 
but it was not until August, 1851, that the mention of any actual 
event recorded in the Bible, and in ancient profane history, was 
detected on the monuments, thus removing all further doubt as 
to the king who had raised them. 

Shortly after my return to England my copies of these inscrip- 
tions having been seen by Colonel Bawlinson, he announced, in 
the Athenasum of the 23rd August, 1851, that he had found in 
them notices of the reign of Sennacherib, " which placed beyond 
the reach of dispute his historic identity," and he gave a recapitu- 
lation of the principal events recorded on the monuments, the 
greater part of which are known to us through history either sacred 
or profane. These inscriptions have since been examined by Dr. 
Hincks, and translated by him independently of Colonel Rawlin- 
8on. He has kindly assisted me in giving the following abridgment 
of their contents.} 

The inscriptions begin with the name and titles of Sennacherib. 

• I hail also shown the probability that the palace of Khorsabad owed its 
enaction to a monarch of this dynasty, in a series of letters published in the 
Malta Times, as far back as 1843. 

t Vul. xxii. p. 34. I take this opportunity of attributing to their proper source 
the di^overies of the names of Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, inadvertently 
a.'^slgned to others in my "Nineveh and its Keniains.'* We owe these, with 
many (others of scarcely less injportance, to the ingenuity and learning of Dr. 
llin<"ks. (Literary (iazctte, June '27. 1846.) 

J I must here remind the rea<ler that any new discoveries in the cuneiform in- 
scription?* referred to in the text are to be attributed to Dr. Hincks. The trans- 
lati«>n made by Col. Kawllnson, and published by the Royal Asiatic Society, was 
rnmpihvl from three distinct records of the same monarch, — the inscriptions on 
the bulls on a large barrel-shape<l terra-cotta cyliniler, known as HelIino*s cy- 
linder, now in the Hriti»h Mui»eum, and on an hexagonal cylinder in the same 
mali-rial, in the |K)ssei*sion of the late Col. Taylor. The first annals extend 
over j'lx years of Sennacherib's reign, the sw^cond over only two, an<l the, 
the fulli»^t and most detailed, but unfortunately said to be lost, over eight. It 
will \n; jKrrceivtMl that Dr. IIincks*8 version differs somewhat from that pub- 
liihed by Col. Uawlinson; and it must be observe<l that be was unable to 
refer to the more complete re«>rd!«, of which a cast in pa{)er is in the C(»loneri 
p<»«-es«ion. He hai availcMl himself of Ik'llino's cylinder to complete tlic an- 
luU of the Unit two years of tho reign of the Aisyrian king. 


It is to be remarked that he does not style himself '^King, or 
rather High Priest, of Babylon," as his father had done in the 
latter part of his reign, from which it may be inferred that at 
the time of engraving the record he was not the immediate so- 
vereign of that city, although its chief may have paid tribute 
to him, and, no doubt, acknowledged his supremacy. He calls 
himself " the subduer of kings from the upper sea of the setting 
sun (the Mediterranean) to the lower sea of the rising sun (the 
Persian Gulf)." In the first year of his reign he defeated Mero- 
dach Baladan, a name with which we are familiar, for it is this 
king who is mentioned in the Old Testament as sending letters and a 
present to Hezekiah *, when the Jewish monarch in his pride showed 
the ambassadors " the house of his precious things, the silver and the 
gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house 
of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures : there was 
nothing in his house, nor in all his dominions that Hezekiah showed 
them not ;" an act of vain boasting which led to the reproof of the 
prophet Isaiah, and to his foretelling that all this wealth, together 
with the descendants of its owner, should be carried away as spoil 
to the very city from which these ambassadors came. Merodach 
Baladan is called king of Kar-Duniyas, a city and country fre- 
quently mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions, and comprising the 
southernmost part of Mesopotamia, near the confluence of the Tigris 
and Euphrates, together with the districts watered by those two 
rivers, to the borders of Susiana. This king, with the help of his 
Susianian allies, had recently recovered Babylon, from which Sar- 
gon, Sennacherib's father, had expelled him in the twelfth year of 
his reign. The battle appears to have been fought considerably to 
the north of that city. The result was that Sennacherib totally 
defeated Merodach Baladan, who fled to save his life, leaving behind 
him his chariots, waggons (?), horses, mares, asses (?) camels, and 
riding horses with their trappings for war (?). The victorious king 
then advanced to Babylon, where he plundered the palace, carrying 
oflP a vast treasure of gold, silver, vessels of gold and silver, precious 
stones, men and women servants, and a variety of objects which 
cannot yet be satisfactorily determined. No less than seventy-nine 
cities (or fortresses), all the castles of the Chaldaeans, and eight 
hundred and twenty small towns "(or villages), dependent upon 
them, were taken and spoiled by the Assyrian army, and the great 
wandering tribes " that dwelt around the cities of Mesopotamia," 
the Syrians (Arameans), and Chaldaeans, &c. &c. were brought under 

* Isaiah, xxxix. 1. and 2 Kings, xx. 12. where the name is written Berodach. 

chap.vl] Sennacherib's wars. 141 

subjection. Sennacherib having made Belib *y one of his own 
oflScerSy sovereign of the conquered provinces, proceeded to subdue 
the powerful tribes who border on the Euphrates and Tigris, and 
amongst them the Hagarenes and Nabathasans. From these wander- 
ing people he declares that he carried off to Assyria, probably co- 
Ionising with them, as was the custom, new-built towns and villages, 
208,000 men, women, and children, together with 7200 horses and 
mares, 11,063 asses (?), 5230 camels, 120,100 oxen, and 800,500 
sheep. It is remarkable that the camels should bear so small a 
proportion to the oxen and asses in this enumemtion of the spoil. 
Amongst the Bedouin tribes, who now inhabit the same country, 
the camels would be far more numerous.! It is interesting to 
find, that in those days, as at a later period, there was both a 
Domade and stationary population in Northern Arabia. 

In the same year Sennacherib received a great tribute from the 
conquered Kharanih, and subdued the people of Kherimmi, whom 
he declares to have been long rebellious (neither people can as yet 
be identified), rebuilding (? or consecrating) the city of the latter, 
and sacrificing on the occasion, for its dedication to the gods of 
Assyria, one ox, ten sheep, ten goats or lambs, and twenty other 

animals, t 

In the second year of his reign, Sennacherib appears to have 
turned his arms to the north of Nineveh, having reduced in his first 
year the southern country to obedience. By the help of Ashur, he 
says, he went to Bishi and Yasubirablai(both names of doubtful read- 
ing and not identified), who had long been rebellious to the kings his 
fathers. He took Beth Kilamzakh, their principal city, and carried 
away their men, small and great, horses, mares, asses (?), oxen, and 
shecf*. The people of Bislii and Yasubirablai, who had tied from 
his servants, he brought down from the mountains and placed them 
under one of his eunuchs, the governor of the city of Arapkha. 
He made tablets, and wrote on them the laws (or tribute) imposed 
upon the conqueredy and set them up in the city. He took per- 
manent j)osses8ion of the country of lUibi (Luristan?), and Ispa- 

• Cnl. Kawlins4>n reads Bel-adon. This Belib is the Belibus of Pt(»lemy*8 
Can^n. Tlie niontion of his name led Dr. liincks to determine the accession of 
Sennacherib to be in 703 B.C. 

t (*mI. KawlinM^m gives 11,180 head of cattle, 5230 camels, 1,020,100 sheep, 
and hOO,300 gnats. He has alsf) |>ointed out that both Ab^denus and l*olyhi^tor 
mention this campaign against Bab)don. 

J It if to be remarke<l that he does not say he gave a new name to this city, 
as WX4 generally the case; it may have been a holy city (compare " Harem*') 
and contetjuently escaped deatruction. 


bara* its king, after being defeated, fled, leaving the cities of 
Marubishti and Akkuddu, the rojal residences, with thirty-four 
principal towns, and villages not to be counted, to be destroyed by 
the Assyrians, who carried away a large amount of captives and 
cattle. Beth-barrua, the city itself and its dependencies, Senna- 
cherib separated from lUibi, and added to his immediate dominions. 
The city of Ubinzash (?) he appointed to be the chief city in this 
district He abolished its former name, called it Kar-Sanakhirba 
(t. e. the city of Sennacherib), and placed in it a new people, an- 
nexing it to the government of Kharkhar, which must have been 
in the neighbourhood of Uolwan, commanding the pass through 
mount Zagros. After this campaign he received tribute to a great 
amount from some Median nations, so distant, that his predecessors 
'^ had not even heard mention of their names," and made them 
obedient to his authority. 

In the third year of his reign Sennacherib appears to have over- 
ran with his armies the whole of Syria. He probably crossed the 
Euphrates above Carchemish, at or near the ford of Thapsacus, 
and marched to the sea-coast, over the northern spur of Mount 
Lebanon. The Syrians are called by their familiar biblical name 
of Hittites, the Khatti, or Khetta, by which they were also known 
to the Egyptians. The first opposition he appears to have received 
was from Luli (or Luliya), king of Sidon, who had withheld his 
homage ; but who was soon coinpelled to fly from Tyre to Yavan in 
the middle of the sea. Dr. Hincks identifies this country with the 
island of Crete, or some part of the southern coast of Asia Minor, 
and with the Yavan ( J^) of the Old Testament, the country of the 
lonians or Greeks, an identification which I believe to be correct .f 
This very Phoenician king is mentioned by Josephus (quoting from 
Menander), under the name of Elulaeus, as warring with Shalmane- 
ser, a predecessor of Sennacherib. He appears not to have been 
completely subdued before this, but only to have paid homage or 

♦ We learn from the Khorsabad inscriptions, that in the eleventh year of the 
reign of Sargon, Delta, the king of this country, died, leaving two sons, one of 
whom was supported by the king of Susa, and the other by the Ass3rrian 
monarch, who sent a large army, under seven generals, to his assistance, and 
totally defeating the Susianians, placed Ispabara on the throne. Ispabara 
appears afterwards to have thrown off the Assyrian yoke. (Dr. Hincks.) Col. 
Kawlinson places Ulibi in northern Media, and reads most of the names in 
the text differently. (P. 20. of his Memoir.) 

f Col. Rawlinson identifies the name, which he reads Yetnan, with the Rhi- 
nocolura of the Greeks, and places it in the south of Phoenicia, on the confines of 


tribute to the Assyrian monarchs.* Sennacherib placed a person^ 
whose name is doubtful (Col. Rawlinson reads it Tubaal), upon 
the throne of Luli> and appointed his annual tribute. All the 
kings of the sea-coast then submitted to him^ except Zidkaha (com- 
pare Zedekiah) or Zidkabal, king of Ascalon. This chief was, 
however, soon subdued, and was sent, with his household and 
wealth, to Assyria, — — (name destroyed), the son of Rukipti (?), 
a former king, being placed on the throne in his stead. The 
cities dependent upon Ascalon, which had not been obedient to 
hb authority, he captured and plundered. A passage of great 
importance which now occurs is unfortunately so much injured 
that it has not yet been satisfactorily restored. It appears to state 
that the chief priests (?) and people of Ekron (?) had dethroned their 
king Padiya, who was dependent upon Assyria, and had delivered 
him up to Hezekiah, king of Judaea. f The kings of Egypt sent an 
army, the main part of which is said to have belonged to the king 
of Milukhkha (Meroe, or Ethiopia), to Judaea, probably to help 
their Jewish allies. Sennacherib joined battle with the Egyptians, 
totally defeated them near the city of Al . . . . ku, capturing the 
charioteers of the king of Milukhkha, and placing tlicm in con- 
finement. This battle between the armies of the Assyrians and 
Egyptians appears to be hinted at in Isaiah and in the Book 
of Kings. J Padiya having been brought back from Jerusalem 
was replaced by Sennaclierib on his throne. " Hezekiah, king of 
Judiih/' gays the Assyrian king, " who had not submitted to my 
authority, forty-six of liis principal cities, and fortresses and vil- 
lages depending upon them, of which I took no account, I cap- 

• Jfwoph. 1. ix. c. 14., and see Xincvoh and its Rcinains, vol. ii. p. 400., where 
I had htn;; before the deciphering of the inscriptions endeavourc<l to point out 
ihe representation of this event, in some bas-reliefs at Kouyunjik. This flight 
of Lulijit, indeed, ap|>ears to be represented in plate No. 71. of the first scries 
of the " Monuments of Nineveh.** 

t Col. Hawlinson reads the name of the king Haddiya. That of Ekron is 
Terv doubtful. 

* l!«uiah, XXX vii. 2 Kin^s, xix. 9. It is not s^tated that the armies of the 
two great antagonistic nations of the ancient world actually met in battle, but 
thai Sennacherib " heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, lie is 
cfjminp forth to make war with thee.** Herodotus, however, ap|)cars to have 
pri'iMTved the record of the battle in the celebratetl 8tt)ry of the mice which 
gnawiil the l>ow«»trings an<l the thongs of the shields of the Assyrian soldiers 
during the night, and left them an easy prey to the Egyptians (lib. iii. s. 141.). 
lliifi l<M>kfi xvTj much like a defeat sustained by the Egyjitians, which the vanity 
of their priest* had converted into this marvellous story. The fact, intimattnl in 
the inscriptions, of Tirhakah having not one but several Egyptian kings depend- 
ent upon bim if new to history. 


tured and carried away their spoil. I shut up (?) himself within 
Jerusalem^ his capital city. The fortified towns, and the rest of 
his towns, which I spoiled, I severed from his country, and gave 
to the kings of Ascalon, Ekron, and Gaza, so as to make his 
country small. In addition to the former tribute imposed upon 
their countries, I added a tribute, the nature of which I fixed." 
The next passage is somewhat defaced, but the substance of it ap- 
pears to be, that he took from Hezekiah the treasure he had col- 
lected in Jerusalem, 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, 
the treasures of his palace, besides his sons and his daughters, and 
his male and female servants or slaves, and brought them all to 
Nineveh.* The city itself, however, he does not pretend to have 

There can be little doubt that the campaign against the cities 
of Palestine recorded in the inscriptions of Sennacherib at Kou- 
yunjik, is that described in the Old Testament. The events agree 
with considerable accuracy. We are told in the Book of Kings, 
that the king of Assyria, in the fourteenth year of the reign of 
Hezekiah, ^'came up against all the fenced cities of Judah and 
took them,"t as he declares himself to have done in his annals. 
And, what is most important, and perhaps one of the most re- 
markable coincidences of historic testimony on record, the amount 
of the treasure in gold taken from Hezekiah, thirty talents, agrees 
in the two perfectly independent accounts.} Too much stress 

* Col. Rawlinson gives a somewhat different version of this part of the in- 
scription. He translates, *' Because Hezekiah, king of Judaea, did not submit 
to my yoke, forty-six of his strong- fenced cities, and innumerable smaller towns 
whicht depended on them, I took and plundered ; but I left to him Jerusalem, his 

capital city, and some of the inferior towns around it And because 

Hezekiah still continued to refuse to pay me homage, I attacked and carried off 
the whole population, fixed and nomade, which dwelled around Jerusalem, 
with 30 talents of gold, and 800 talents of silver, the accumulated wealth of the 
nobles of Hezekiah^s court, and of their daughters, with the officers of his 
palace, men slaves and women slaves. I returned to Nineveh, and I accounted 
their spoil for the tribute which he refused to pay me." He identifies Milukh- 
kha (or Mirukha) with Meroe or Ethiopia, and Al . . . ku, which he reads Al- 
lakis, with Lachish, the city besieged by Sennacherib, when he sent Kabshakeh 
to Hezekiah, and of which, I shall endeavour to show, we have elsewhere a 
more certain mention. 

t 2 Kings, xviii. 13.; and compare Isaiah, xxxvi. 1. I may here observe that 
the names of Hezekiah and Judaea, with others mentioned in the text, occur in 
inscriptions on other bulls of Kouyunjik already published. (See British Mu- 
seum Series, p. 61. 1. 11.) 

{ " And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah, king of Judah, 300 
talents of silver and 30 talents of gold.** (2 Elings, xviii. 14.) 


cannot be laid on this singular fact, as it tends to prove the general 
accuracy of the historictd details contained in the Assyrian in- 
scriptions. There is a difference of 500 talents, as it will be 
observed, in the amount of silver. It is probable that Hezekiah 
was much pressed by Sennacherib, and compelled to give him all 
the wealth that he could collect, as we find him actually taking 
the silver from the house of the Lord, as well as from his own 
treasury, and cutting off the gold from the doors and pillars of the 
temple, to satisfy the demands of the Assyrian king. The Bible 
may therefore only include the actual amount of money in the 300 
talents of silver, whilst the Assyrian records comprise all the pre- 
cious metal taken away. There are some chronological discrepancies 
which cannot at present be satisfactorily reconciled, and which I 
will not attempt to explain.* It is natural to suppose that Sen- 
nacherib would not perpetuate the memory of his own overthrow ; 
and that, having been unsuccessful in an attempt upon Jerusalem, 
his army being visited by the plague described in Scripture, he 
should gloss over his defeat by describing the tribute he had pre- 
viously received from Hezekiah as the general result of his campaign. 
There is no reason to believe, from the biblical account, that 
Sennacherib was slain by his sons immediately after his return 
to Nineveh ; on the contrary, the expression *' he returned and 
dwelt at Nineveh," infers that he continued to reign for some time 
over Assyria. We have accordingly his further annds on the 
monuments he erected. In his fourth year he went southward, 
and subdued the country of Bcth-Yakin, defeating Susubira, the 
Chaiclxan, who dwelt in the city of Bittuton the river — (Agammi, 
according to liawlinson). Further mention is made of Merodach 
Baladan. " This king, whom I had defeated in a former campaign, 
escaped from my principal servants, and fled to an island (namd 
lost); his brothers, the seed of his father's house, whom he left 
behind him on tlie coast, with the rest of the men of his country 
from Ikith-Yakin, near the salt (?) river (the Shat-el-Arab, 
or united waters of the Tigris and Euphrates), I carried away, 
and several of his towns I threw down, burning Assurnadtmmi 
(? *\s!*urnadin, according to Rawlinson) ; my son I placed on the 

* According to Dr. Hincks (Chronological Appendix to a Paper on the 
A ftsjrriu- Babylonian Characters in vol. xxii. of the Transactions of the Kojal 
Iri^h Acaiicnij), it is nec^wsary to rea<l the fifth for the fourteenth year of Heze- 
kiah 9LA the date of Sennacherib's invasion, llie illness of Hezekiah, and the 
enil«^«jr of Merodach Dalailan he places eleven years earlier. Certainly the 
phrase ^ in those days ** was used wi(h great latitude. 




throne of his kingdom." He appears then to have made a large 
government, of which Babylon was the chief place.* 

In the fifth year he defeated the Tokkari, capturing their prin- 
cipal stronghold or Nipour {detached hill fort ?), and others of 
their castles. He also attacked Maniyakh, king of Okku or 
Wukku (?), a country to which no previous Assyrian king had 
penetrated. This chief deserted his capital and fled to a distance. 
Sennacherib carried off the spoil of his palace and plundered his 
cities. This expedition seems to have been to the north of Assyria, 
in Armenia or Asia Minor. 

In the following year Sennacherib again marched to the mouths 
of the Euphrates and Tigris, and attacked the two cities of Naghit 
and Noghit Dibeena. They appear to have stood on opposite sides 
of the great salt river, a name anciently given, it is conjectured, to 
the Shat-el-Arab, or united waters of the Euphrates and Tigris, 
which are affected by the tides of the Persian Gulf, and are, 
consequently, salt. Both cities belonged to the King of Elam 
(Elamti), or Nuvaki, the two names being used indifferently for 
the same country. The Assyrian king, in order to reach them, 
was compelled to build ships, and to employ the mariners of 
Tyre, Sidon, and Yavan, as navigators. He brought these ves- 
sels down the Tigris, and crossed on them to the Susianian side 
of the river, after having first, it would seem, taken the city 
Naghit which stood on the western bank. He offered precious sa- 
crifices to a god (? Neptune, but name doubtful) on the bank of the 
salt river, and dedicated to him a ship of gold, and two other golden 
objects, the nature of which has not been determined. Mention is 
then made of his having captured Naghit Dibeena, together with 
three other cities, whose names cannot be well ascertained, and of 
Bis crossing the river Ula (? the Ulai of Daniel, the Eulasus of the 
Greeks, and the modem Karoon). Unfortunately the whole of the 
passage which contains the record of the expedition against these 
cities is much defaced, and has not yet been satisfactorily restored. 
It appears to give interesting details of the building of the ships on 
the Tigris, by the men of Tyre and Sidon and of the navigation of 
that river. 

Such are the principal historical facts recorded on the bulls 
placed by Sennacherib in his palace at Nineveh. I have given 
them fully, in order that we may endeavour to identify the sculp- 

* Dr. Hincks identifies the son of Sennacherib with the Aparanadius of 
Ptolemy's canon, whose reign began three years after that of Belibos. He sup- 
poses w to be a corruption of <r<r. 


tured representations of these events on the walls of the chambers 
and halls of that magnificent building, described in the course of 
this work. Appended to the historical annals, and frequently 
embracing the whole of the shorter inscriptions on the colossi at 
the entrances, are very full and minute details of the form of the 
palace, the mode of its construction, and the materials employed, 
which will be alluded to when I come to a description of the archi- 
tecture of the Assyrians. 

As the name of Sennacherib, as well as those of many kings, 
countries and cities, are not written phonetically, that is, by letters 
having a certain alphabetic value, but by monograms, and the de- 
ciphering of them is a peculiar process, which may sometimes ap- 
pear suspicious to those not acquainted with the subject, a few 
words of explanation may be acceptable to my readers. The greater 
number of Assyrian proper names with which we are acquainted, 
whether royal or not, appear to have been made up of the name, 
epithet, or title, of one of the national deities, and of a second word 
such as " slave of," " servant of," " beloved of," " protected by ; " 
like the " Theodosius," *' Theodorus," &c. of the Greeks, and the 
*^ Abd-ullah," and ^* Abd-ur-Rahman," of Mohammedan nations. 
The names of the gods being commonly written with a mono- 
gram, the first step in deciphering is to know which God this par« 
ticular sign denotes. Thus, in the name of Sennacherib, we have 
first the determinative of " god," to which no phonetic value is 
attached ; whilst the second character denotes an Assyrian god, 
whose name was San. The first com[)oncnt part of the name of 
E:*«<arhiiddon, \8 the monogram for the god Assur. It is this fact 
which renders it so difficult to determine, with any degree of 
confidence, most of the Assyrian names, and which leads me to 
warn my readers that, with the exception of such as can with 
certainty be identified with well-known historic kings, as Sargon, 
Sennacherib, and Essarhaddon, the interpretation of all those which 
are found on the monuments of Nineveh, is liable to very consi- 
derable doubt. In sj)eaking of them I shall, therefore, not use any 
of the readings which have been suggested by different writers. 

Although no question can rciisonably exist as to the identification 
of the king who built the palace of Kouyunjik with the Senna- 
cherib of Scripture, it may still be desirable to place before my 
readers all the corroborative evidence connected with the subject. 
In no doing, however, I shall have to refer to discoveries made at a 
subsequent i>crio<l, and which ought consequently to be described, 

L 2 


if the order of the narrative be strictly preserved, in a subsequent 
part of this work. In the first place, it must be remembered that the 
Kouyunjik king was undoubtedly the son of the founder of the 
palace at Khorsabad. He is so called in the inscriptions behind the 
bulls in the S. W. palace at Nimroud, and in numerous detached 
inscriptions on bricks, and on other remains from those ruins and 
from Kouyunjik. Now the name of the Khorsabad king was gene- 
rally admitted to be Sargon*, even before his relationship to the 
Kouyunjik king was known ; although here again we are obliged to 
attadi phonetic powers to characters used as monograms, which, 
when occurring as simple letters, appear to have totally different 
values.t Colonel Rawlinson states t> that this king bears in other 
inscriptions the name of Shalmaneser, by which he was better 
known to the Jews.§ Dr. Hincks denies that the two names be* 
long to the same person. It would appear, however, that there 
are events mentioned in the inscriptions of Khorsabad, which 
lead to the identification of its founder with the Shalmaneser of 
Scripture, and the ruins of the palace itself, were known even at 
the time of the Arab conquest by the name of " Sarghun." 

Unfortunately the upper parts of nearly all the bas-reliefs at 
Kouyunjik having been destroyed the epigraphs are wanting ; and 
we are unable^ as yet, to identify with certainty the subjects re- 
presented with any known event in the reign of Sennacherib. 
There is, however, one remarkable exception. 

During the latter part of my residence at Mosul a chamber was 
discovered in which the sculptures were in better preservation 

* First, I believe, though on completely false premises, by M. Lowenstein. 

f Col. Rawlinson reads the name ^ Sargina." 

i Athenaeum, Aug. 23. 1851. 

§ Shalmaneser, who made war against Hoshea, and who is generally supposed 
to have carried away the ten tribes from Samaria, although the sacred historian 
does not distinctly say so (2 Kings, xvil.), is identified by general consent with 
Sargon, who sent his general against Aishdod (Isaiah, xx.). Dr. Hincks ques- 
tioned this identification (A thenteum for Sept. 13. 1851), considering Shalma- 
neser as son of Sargon, and brother to Sennacherib. In his last paper, however 
(Trans. Royal Irish Acad. vol. xxii.), he has taken a different view. He con- 
siders Shalmaneser to be the predecessor of Sargon, who went up against Jeru- 
salem in his last year, b.c. 722. *' The king of Assyria,^* that is Sargon, took 
the city in his second year, b.c. 720. In either case, no monument whatever 
has yet been discovered bearing the name of this king. There is certainly 
nothing in Scripture to identify the two names as belonging to the same king, 
except that their general, in both instances, is called Tartan, which we now find 
from the inscriptions was merely the common title of the commander of the 
Assyrian armies. 

Chap.vli siege of lachish. 149 

than any before found at Kouyunjik.* Some of the slabs, indeed, 
were ahnoet entire, though cracked and otherwise injured by fire ; 
and the epigraph, which fortunately explained the event portrayed, 
was complete. These bas-reliefs represented the siege and capture 
by the Assyrians, of a city evidently of great extent and import- 
ance. It appeans to have been defended by double walls, with bat- 
tlements and towers, and by fortified outworks. The country around 
it was hilly and wooded, producing the fig and the vine. The whole 
power of the great king seems to have been called forth to take this 
stronghold. In no other sculptures were so many armed warriors 
seen drawn up in array before a besieged city. In the first rank were 
the kneeling archers, those in the second were bending forward, 
whilst those in the third discharged their arrows standing upright, 
and were mingled with spearmen and slingcrs; the whole forming 
a compact and organised phalanx. The reserve consisted of large 
bodies of horsemen and charioteers. Against the fortifications 
had been thrown up as many as ten banks or mounts, compactly 
built of stones, bricks, earth, and branches of trees, and seven 
battering-rams had already been rolled up to the walls. The 
besieged defended themselves with great determination. Spear- 
men, archers, and slingers thronged the battlements and towers, 
showering arrows, javelins, stones, and blazing torches upon the 
assailants. On the battering-rams were bowmen discharging their 
arrows, and men with large ladles pouring water upon the flaming 
brands, which, hurled from above, threatened to destroy the 
engines. Ladders, probably used for escalade, were falling from 
the walls u{>on the soldiers who mounted the inclined ways to the 
as£iault. Part of the city had, however, been taken. Beneath 
its walls were seen Assyrian warriors impaling their prisoners, 
and from the gateway of an advanced tower, or fort, issued a 
procession of caj)tive8, reaching to the presence of the king, 
who, gorgeously arrayed, received them seated on his throne. 
Amongst the spoil were furniture, arms, shields, chariots, vases of 
metal of various forms, camels, carts drawn by oxen, and laden with 
women and children, and many objects the nature of which can- 
nut l>e detenuined. The vanquished peoj)le were distinguished from 
the conquerors by their dress, those who defended the battlements 
wf>re a i>ointe<l helmet, differing from that of the Assyrian war- 
riors in having a fringe<l lappet falling over the cars. Some of the 
eai>tivcs had a kind of turban with one end hanging down to the 

• No. XXXVI. Plan I. 38 feet by 18. 

L 3 



[Chap. VI. 

Bhoulder, not unlike that worn by the modem Arabs of the Hedjaz. 
Others had no head-dress, and short hair and beards. Their gannenis 
consisted either of a robe reaching to the ankles, or of a tuoic 
scarcely falling lower than the thigh, and confined at the waist by 
a girdle. The latter appeared to be the drese of the fighting-men. 
The women wore long shirts, with an outer clonk thrown, like the 
Teil of modern Eastern ladies, over the back of the head and falling 
to the feet. 

Several prisoners were already in the hands of the torturers. 
Two were stretched naked on the ground to be flayed alive, others 
were being slain by the sword before the throne of the king. The 
haughty monarch was receiving the chiefs of the conquered nation, 
who crouched and knelt humbly before him. They were brought 
into the royal presence by the Tar- 
tan of the Assyrian forces, probably 
the Kabshakch himself, followed by 
his principal officers. The general 
was clothed in embroidered robes, 
and wore on his head a fillet adorned 
with rosettes and long tasseled 

The throne of the king stood 
upon an elevated platform, probably 
an artificial mound, in the hill 
country. Its arms and sides were 
supported by three rows of figures 
one above the other. The wood was 
richly carved, or encased in em- 
bossed metal, and the legs ended in 
pine-shaped ornaments, probably of 
bronze. The throne, indeed, ap- 
pears to have resembled, in every 
respect, one discovered in the north- 
west palace at Nimroud, which I 
shall hereafter describe." Over the 
high back was thrown an em- 
broidered cloth, doubtless of some 
rare and beautiful material. 

The royal feet rested upon a 
high footstool of elegant form, fashioned like the throne, and 
cased with embossed metal ; the legs ending in lion's paws. Be- 

* Chap.VUL 


hind the king were two attendant eunuchs raising fans above his 
head) and holding the embroidered napkins. 

The monarch himself was attired in long loose robes richly or- 
namented, and edged with tassels and fringes. In his right hand 
he raised two arrows, and his left rested upon a bow ; an attitude, 
probably denoting triumph over his enemies, and in which he is 
usually portrayed when receiving prisoners after a victory. 

Behind the king was the royal tent or pavilion * : and beneath 
him were his led horses, and an attendant on foot carrying the 
parasol, the emblem of royalty. His two chariots with their 
charioteers, were waiting for him. One had a peculiar semicircular 
ornament of considerable size, rising from the pole between the 
horses, and spreading over their heads. It may originally have 
contained the figure of a deity, or some mythic symbol. It was 
attached to the chariot by that singular contrivance joined to the 
yoke and represented in the early sculptures of Nimroud, the 
use and nature of which I am still unable to explain.f This 
part of the chariot was richly adorned with figures and ornamental 
designs, and appeared to be supported by a prop resting on the 
pole. The trappings of the horses were handsomely decorated, 
and an embroidered cloth, hung with tassels, fell on their chests. 
Two quivers, holding a bow, a hatchet, and arrows, were fixed 
to the side of the chariot. 

This fine scries of bas-reliefa J, occupying thirteen slabs, was 
finished by the ground-plan of a castle, or of a fortified camp 
containing tents and houses. Within the walls was also seen a fire- 
altar with two beardless priests, wearing high conical caps, standing 
iK'fore it. In front of the altar, on which burned the sacred flame, 
was a table bearing various sacrificial objects, and beyond it two 
sacred chariots, such as accompanied the Persian kings in their 
wars.§ The horses liad been taken out, and the yokes rested upon 
stands. Each chariot carried a lofty pole surmounted by a globe, 
and long tassels or streamers ; similar standards were introduced 
into scenes representing sacrifices || in the sculptures of Khorsabad. 

• I pn'^umc this to l>c a tent, or movcaMe (Iwelling-nlace. It is oviilontljr 
ruf»|»ortc.l by ropes. Al)ovc it is an inscription declaring that it is " the tent (?) 
(the woni seems to read Mtircda) of Sennacherib, king of Assyria,'* 

fit has been suggested to roc that it may have been a case in which to 
place the liow ; but the bow and arrows are contained in the quiver suspended 
t/) th<' title of the chariot. 

J For detailcMl drawings, tee 2nd series of the Monuments of Nineveh, 
Plat.-^ iO. to 24. 

§ Xenopbon Cyrop. Ivii. c. 3. Quintus Curtius, liii. c. 3. 

I IkttU's MoDuineas de Ninivo, Plate 14C. 


Above the head of the king was the following inBcription, 

y -+<« j^ ]^ ?E|y « I « V ^v 

- sT 1-iH PP T- I* em- T- ET 
T- -ET ^! -cTT 'ET <a SETT 
ET ?!< <T~TT<T JT eTI -T< -TTt 

which mtky be translated, " Sennacherib, the mighty king, king of 
the country of Aaayria, sitting on the throne of judgment, before 
(or at the entrance of) the city of Iiachish (LiUchisba). I give 
permission for its slaughter." 

Here, therefore, was the actual picture of the taking of Lachish, 
the city, as we know from the Bible, besieged by Sennacherib, 
when he sent his generals to demand tribute of Hczckiah, an<l 
which he had captured before their return * ; evidence of the most 

remarkable character to con&rm the interpretation of the inscrip- 
tions, and to identify the king who caused them to be engraved with 
the Sennacherib of Scripture. This highly interesting series of 
bas-reliefs contained, moreover, an undoubted representation of a 
king, a city, and a people, with whose names we are acqu»nted, 
and of an event described in Holy Writ. They furnish ua, there- 

* 2 Kings, zviii. 14. laaiah xxxvi. 2. From 2 Kings, xiz. 8., and Isaiah, xxxvii. 
8., we mav infer that the dty soon yielded. 


fore, with illustrations of the Bible of very great importance* 
The captives were undoubtedly Jews, their physiognomy was strik- 
ingly indicated in the sculptures, but they had been stripped of 
their ornaments and their fine raiment, and were left barefooted 
and half-clothed* From the women, too, had been removed '^ the 
splendor of the foot ornaments and the caps of network, and 
the crescents; the ear-pendents, and the bracelets, and the thin 
veils; the head-dress, and the ornaments of the legs and the 
girdles, and the perfume-boxes and the amulets; the rings and 
the jewels of the nose; the embroidered robes and the tunics, 
and the cloaks and the satchels; the transparent garments, and 
the fine linen vests, and the turbans and the mantles, '^ for they 
wore instead of a girdle, a rope ; and instead of a stomacher, a 
girdling of sackcloth." f 

Other corroborative evidence as to the identity of the king who 
built the palace of Kouyunjik with Sennacherib, is scarcely less 
remarkable. In a chamber, or passage, in the south-west comer 
of this edifice}, were found a large number of pieces of fine clay 
bearing the impressions of seals §, which, there is no doubt, had been 
afllixed, like modem official seals of wax, to documents written on 
leather, papyrus, or parchment. Such documents, with seals in 
clay still attached, have been discovered in Egypt, and specimens 
are preserved in the British Museum. The writings themselves 

* Col. Ilawlinson has, I am aware, denied that this is the Lachish mentioned 
in Scripture, which he identifies with the AII...ku of the bull inscriptions, and 
places on the sea-coast between Gaza and Khinocolura. (Outlines of Assyrian 
History, p. xxxvi.) But I believe this theory to be untenable, and I am sup- 
jiorted in this view of the subject by Dr. Ilincks, who also rejects Col. Kawlin- 
hon'h reading of Lubana (Libnah). Lachish is mentioned amongst " the 
uttermost cities of the tribe of Judah.'* (Joshua, xv. 39.) From verse 21 
to 32 we have one category t)f twenty-nine cities " toward the coast of Edom 
•outhwartl.** The next category ap|)ear8 to extend to verse 46, and includes 
cities in the valley, amongst which is Lachish. We then come to Ashdod and 
the sea. It was theref<ire certainly situated in the hill country. (Sec also 
KobiiiMin's Biblical Researches in Palestine, vol. ii. p. 3H8.) 

t Isaiah, iii. 1 8 — 24. &ic. (See translation by the Kev. J. Jones.) This descrip- 
tion of the various articles of dress worn by the Jewish women is exceedingly 
interesting. Most of the ornamenta enumerated, probably indeed the whole of 
them, if we were acquainted with the exact meaning of the Hebrew word*, 
arv' still to l>e traced in the costumes of Eastern women inhabiting the same 
country. >fany ap[>ear to be mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions amongst 
obj«-<-t!» of tribute and of sjK>il brought to the king. Sec also Ezekiel xvi. 10 — 
14. for an account of the dress of the Jewish women. 

J No. LXL Plan L 

f Resembling the yij <niuayrpls (the scaling earth) of the Greeks. 


bad been consumed by the fire wblch destroyed the building or 
had perished from decay. In the atamped clay, however, may still 

be Been the holes for the string) or strips of skin, by which the seal 
was fastened ; ia some inBtauces the ashes of the string itself re- 
main*, with the marks of the fiugera and thumb. 

The greater part of these seals are Assyrian, but with them are 
others bearing Egyptian, Fhcenician, and doubtful symbols and cha- 
racters. Sometimes the same seal is impressed more than once 
on the same piece of clay. The Assyrian devices are of various 
kinds; the most common ia that of a king plunging a da^er into 
the body of a rampant lion. This appears to have been the royal, 
and, indeed, the national, seal or signet It is frequently en- 
circled by a short inscription, which has not yet been dedphered, 
or by a simple guilloche border. The same group, emblematic 
of the superior power and wisdom of the king, as well as of his 
sacred character, is found on Assyrian cylinders, gems, and mo- 
numents. From the Assyrians it was adopted by the Perwans, 
and appears upon the walls of Fersepolis and on the coins of 

Other devices found among these impressions of seals are : — 1 . 
A king, attended by a priest, in act of adoration before a deity 
standing on a lion, and surrounded by seven stars:' above the 
god's head, on one seal, is a scorpion. 2. The king, followed by 
an attendant bearing a parasol, and preceded by a rampant horse. 
3. A god, or the king, probably the former, rising from a crescent. 
There appears to be a fish in front of the figure. 4. The king, 
with an eunuch or priest before him; a flower, or ornamented 

* M. Botta also foDnd, at Ehorsabad, the ashes of etring in lumps of clay 
impreated with a seal, without being aware of their origin. 

CBiP. VL] 



ataff, between them. 5. A ECorpoo, surrounded by a, guUloche 
border (a device of very frequent occurrence, and probably aatro- 
nomical). 6. A priest worshipping before a god, encircled by 
stars. 7. A pricBt worshipping before a god. Behind him are a 
boll, and the sacred astroDomical embleme. 6. An ear of com, 
surrounded by a fancy border. 9. An object resembling a dagger, 
with flowers attached to the handle ; perhaps a sacrificial knife. 
10. The head of a bull and a trident, two sacred symbols of fre- 
quent occurrence on Assyrian monuments. 11. A crescent in the 
midst of a many-rayed star. 12. Several rudely cut seab, repre- 
senting priests and various sacred animals, stars,* &c. 

The seals most remarkable for beauty of design and skilful 
execution represent horsemen, one 
^^^^ at full speed raising a spear, the 
^fl^B^^b. M ^BB ^- other bunting a stag. The im- 

^^^^^H^v JV^HHftS prcsstons show that they were 

^^^^^Hl mr^S^Si} '^ inferior to Greek intaglios. 
^^^BV y^^tj^B ^o Assyrian or Babylonian relics 
^^ l^H^^^? yet discovered, equal them in 

i..rr.., H. . . delicacy of workmanship, and the 

best examples of the art of en- 
graving on gems, — an art which appears to have reached great 
perfection amongst the Assyrians, — are unknown to us, except 
ihmiigh these impressions. 

Tlicrc are three sc.ils apparently Phtrnician ; two of them bear- 
ing Phoenician chamctcrsf, 
for which I cannot sug- 
gest any interpretation. A 
few have doubtful symbols 
upon them, which I will 
not attempt to explain ; pcr- 
hnps hicroglyphical signs. 

Of the purely Egyptian 
seals there are four. One 
luis two cartouches placed on the symbol of gold, and each sur- 
moiintc<l by a lull plume ; they probably contained the pranomen 
and name of a king, but not the slightest trace remains of the 
hieroglyphs. The impression is concave, having been made from 

* For engnrmga uf (hr»c Mala, icc 2ntl ncrici of blonumcnlg of Nineveh, 
Iliti- (19. 

t It i«. bowcTtT, po«»ililc lh»l these rharBclcra mij Wlonj; to dome »iher 
Si-roitii- nation, m ■ runivc dphilict, having ft clu*c reiemblanee to tho 
I'honician, waa ueil from Tailmor to Uabjlua. 




a convex surface : the back of some of the Egyptian ovals, the 
mdest form of the ecarabseus, are of this shape. On the second 
seal is the figure of the Egyptian god Harpocmtes, seated on a 
lotuB flower, with his finger placed upon bis mouth ; an attitude 
in which he is represented 
on an ivory from Nimroud. 
The hieroglyph before him 
does not appear to be 

But the most remark- 
able and important of the 
Egyptian eeala are two 
impreseiona of a royal signet, which, though imperfect, retain 
the cartouche, with the name of the king, so as to be perfectly 
legible. It is one well known to Egyptian scholars, as that 
of the second Sabaco the Ethiopian, of the twenty-fifth dynasty. 
On the same piece of clay is impressed an Assyrian seal, with a 
device representing a priest ministering before the king, probably 
a royal signet 

There can be no doubt whatever aa to the identity of the ota- 
touche." Sabaco reigned in Egypt at the end of the seventh cen- 

■ I am iodebtcd to Mr. Birch for the folloiring remarlu upon thii aeal : — 
"The most important of the numeroua seaU discovered at Koujunjik u one 
which has received two impressions — an Assyrian, representing a perwmage in 
adoration before a deitj ; and a second, with the representation and name of the 
Egyptian monarch, Sabaco, of the twentj-lillh dynasty of Ethiopians, and 
evidently impressed from a royal Egyptian seal. Similar impressions are by no 
means unknown, and a few examples have reached the present time. Not to 
instance the day seals found attached to the rolls of papyrus contuuing letten 


tury before Christ, the exact time at which Sennacherib came 
to the throne. He is probably the So mentioned in the se- 
cond book of Kings (xvii. 4.) as having received ambassadors 

written in the time of the Ptolemies and Romans, there are in the British 
Museum seals bearing the name of Shashank or Shishak (No. 55S5.) of 
Amasis II. of the twenty-sixth dynasty (No. 5584.) and of Nafuarut or Ne* 
pherophis, of the twenty-ninth dynasty (No. 55S5.), Such seab were, therefore, 
affixed by the Egyptians to public documents, and it was in accordance with 
this principle, common to the two monarchies, that the seal of the Egyptian 
king has been found in Assyria. It appears to have been impressed from an 
oral, in all probability the bezel of a metallic finger ring, like the celebrated 
seal of Cheops ; in this case an oval, two inches in length by one inch wide. 
The king Sabaco is represented upon the left in an action very commonly seen 
in the historical monuments of Egypt, wearing the red cap teshr. He bends 
down, seizing with his lefl hand the hair of the head of an enemy, whom he is 
about to smite with a kind of mace or axe in his right, having slung his bow at 
bis side. Above and before him are hieroglyphs, expressing Netr nfr nb or chi 
Shabaka, Hhe perfect God, the Lord who produces things, Shabaka (or 
Sabaco).* Behind is an expression of constant occurrence in Egyptian texts : 
ska (a)amch'ka/, * life follows his head.* Although no figure of any deity is seen, 
the hieroglyphs at the lefl edge show that the king was performing this action 
before one — mo, na nak, *I have given to thee,* which must have been followed 
by tome such expression as * a perfect life,* * all enemies or countries under 
thy sandals.* It is impossible to determine which god of the Pantheon was 
there, probably Amon-Ra, or the Theban Jupiter. These seals, therefore, 
assume a most important character as to the synchronism of the two monarchies. 
There cnn, indeed, be no doubt that the Shabak found uix)n them is the usual 
king of the inscriptions ; and it is owing alone to the confusion of Herodotus 
and Oio<lorus that the difficulty of identifying the true chronological position 
ha5 cM^curred. The twenty-fifth dynasty of Manetho, according to all three 
versions, consisted of three -^thiopic kin^s, the seat of whose empire was ori- 
ginally at Gcliel Harkal, or Napata, and who subseijuently conquered the whole 
of K;;ypL The first monarch of this line was called Sabaco by the Greek 
writers; the secoinl Sebechos, or Souechos, his son ; the third was Tarkos or 
Taracus. Now, corresiwnding to Sabacon and Seuechos are two kings, or at 
least two pra»noiiien.s each with the name of Shabak : one reads Ra-nefer-kar^ the 
other lia-tat'kanL, although the correctness of this last pra?nomen is denied, and 
it la asM.Tted that only one king is found on the monuments. Even the exist- 
ent'** of the first Shabak or Sabacon is contested, and the ei^ht or twelve years 
of hi«» reign credited to his successor; and it is remarkable to find that in two 
ver«ions of Manetho each reigned twelve years. Still the non-appearance of 
the fir^t Shabak on the monuments of Egypt would be intelligible, owing to the 
trouble be may. have had to establish bis sway, although then it would be pro- 
bable that he should be found at Napata, bis ^Ethiopian capital. As Kosellini, 
however, gives so distinctly the second prarnomen (M.R. cli. 5.), it is difficult to 
cfin< eive that it does not exist. In the other scenes at Karnak, Shabak, wear- 
ing the upper and lower crown, showing bis rule over the Delta, is seen 
embrace*! by Athor and Amen-t, or T-Amen (Kosell. M.R. cli. 2 and 3.), or 
eUe wearing a plain bead-dress, be is received by Amen and Mut ; but as 
he if unaccompanied by his pnenomen, it is uncertain whether Shabak I. 


from Hoshea^ the king of Israel^ wlio> by entering into a league 
with the Egyptians, called down the vengeance of Shalmaneser, 
whose tributary he was, which led to the first great captivity of 

or Shabak 11. is intended. In the legends, Shabak II. b said to be 'crowned 
on the throne of Turn (Tomos), like the sun for ever,* from which it is eiddent 
that Sabaco claimed to be at that time king of Upper and Lower Egypt. The 
hypothesis originally proposed by Marsham (1 Chron. Com. p. 457.), and subse- 
quently adopted by others is, that Sabaco is the king Sua or So, mentioned in 
Kings, xvii. 4., to whom Hoshea, in the sixth year of his reign, sent an embassy. 
* Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria ; and Hoshea became his 
servant, and gave him presents. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in 
Hoshea : for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no 
present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king 
of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.* According to some chrono* 
logers, this was e.g. 723—722. (Winer, Bibl. Real-Worterbuch, ii. s. 876. Bd. L 
730 f.) ; according, however, to De Yignolles, 721 — 720. Of the later chrono- 
logists, Rosellini places Sabaco I. b.c. 719., and Sabaco II. b.c. 707.; Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson, b. c. 778 — 728. If Sabaco be really So, the reckoning of Bosellini 
and Bockh (Manetho, s. 393.), b.c. 711., for Sabaco II. is nearest the truth. 
The name of So is written KID. K^D, Sva or Sia. The great difficulty is the 
dreadful confusion of the period. The duration of the iCthiopian dynasty, 
according to Africanus and Eusebius, is. 

Years. Years. 


• B 

8 (Africanus) 12 (Eusebius) 



- 14 „ 12 „ 


m m 

- 18 „ 20 „ 

Total - - - 40 44 

Herodotus (ii. 152.), in his usual confusion, places Sabaco, (who, he says, 
reigned after Anysis, a blind man, who fled to the island of Elbo in the marshes,) 
after Mycerinus, of the fourth dynasty, and states that he reigned fifly years, 
more than the whole time of the dynasty. Diodorus placed Sabaco after Boc- 
choris, whom, he declares, he burnt alive. This might be the deed of Sabaco I., 
while the burning of Nechao I. may have been the act of Sabaco DL Hence, 
M. Bunsen (Aegyptens Stelle, iii. 137, 138.) and Lepsius have adopted the hy- 
pothesis that the twenty-flfth and twenty-sixth dynasties were contemporaneous, 
and that the capital of the iEthiopian dynasty was at Napata, or Mt. Barkal, 
whence, from time to time, the JCthiopians successfully invaded Egypt, or the 
hypothesis that Amenartas, the Ethiopian, was not expelled when Uie Saites 
commenced their reign. (M. De Rougce, Exam. ii. p. 66.) 

xxrv. XXVI. 

Anysis, in the Delta. Stephinates. 

XXV. Nechepsos. 

Sabaco (Thebes). The Dodekarchy (League of No- 

Sebichus. marchs). 

Amenartas. Psammetichus I. (M. Maury, Rct. 

Arch. 1851, p. 277.) 

The great interest attached to the Eouyunjik seals depends upon haying 


the people of Samaria* Shalmaneser we know to have been an 
immediate predecessor of Sennacherib, and Tirakhah, the Egyptian 
king, who was defeated by the Assyrians near Lachish, was the 
immediate successor of Sabaco IL 

It would seem that a peace having been concluded between the 
Egyptians and one of the Assyrian monarchs, probably Senna- 
cherib, the royal signets of the two kings, thus found together, were 
attached to the treaty, which was deposited amongst the archives 
of the kingdom. Whilst the document itself, written upon parch- 
ment or papyrus, has completely perished, this singuliur proof of 
the alliance, if not actual meeting, of the two monarchs is still pre- 
served amidst the remains of the state papers of the Assyrian 
empire ; furnishing one of the most remarkable instances of con- 
firmatory evidence on record *, whether we regard it as verifying 
the correctness of the interpretation of the cuneiform character, or 
as an illustration of Scripture history. 

Little doubt, I trust, can now exist in the minds of my readers 
as to the identification of the builder of the palace of Kou- 
yunjik, with the Sennacherib of Scripture. Had the name stood 
alone, we might reasonably have questioned the correctness of 
the reading, especially as the signs or monograms, with which it 
b written, are admitted to have no phonetic power. But when 
characters, whose alphabetic values have been determined from 
a perfectly distinct source, such as the Babylonian column of the 
trilingual inscriptions, furnish us with names in the records attri- 
buted to Sennacherib, written almost identically as in the Hebrew 
version of the Bible, such as Hezekiah, Jerusalem, Judah, Sidon, 
and others, and all occurring in one and the same paragraph, their 
reading, moreover, confirmed by synchronisms, and illustrated by 
sculptured representations of the events, the identification must be 
admitted to be complete. 

the precise date of this king, as they were probably afBxed to a treaty with 
A»5Tria, or some ncijjhbouring nation. There can be no doubt as to the 
name of Sabaco. IIero<lotu9 (ii. 139.) writes SABAKflS ; Diodorus (i. .^9.) 
ZABAknN, Africanus .Sabakon, for the first Sabaid, and Sebechos or Senechofl 
(2EBH\U2) fur the second. The Armenian version reads Sabbakon, for the 
nam*? of the first king (M. Hockh, Manetho, 326.). Some MSS. of the Sep- 
tua^rint hare IHmP (Sejjo<jr). (Cf. Winer, /. c. ; Gesenius, Cora, in Test. i. 
6*Mt.) It is indeeil hi*;hly probable, that this is the monarch mentioned in 
the H4x>k of Kings as Sua or So, and that his seal was affixed to some treaty 
between Assyria and Egypt." 

• The impressions of the signets of the Egyptian and Assyrian kings, besides 
a Urge collection of seals found in Kouyunjik, are now in the British Museum. 



[Chu'. VL 

The palace of KhorBnbad, ae I have already obserred, was built 
by the father of Sennacherib. The edifice in the south-west 
comer of Nimroud was rueed by the son, as we leani from the 
inscription on the back of the bulls discovered in that building.* 
The name of the king is admitted to be Essarhaddon, and there 
are events, as it will hereafter be seenj meDtloned in his records, 
which further tend to identify him with the E^ssarhaddon of Scrip- 
ture, who, after the murder of his father Sennacherib, succeeded 
to the throne. 

I may mention in conclusion, as connected with the bulla 
forming the grand entrance, tltat in the rubbish at the foot of 
one of them were found four cylinders and several beads, with a 
scorpion in lapis lazuli, all apparently once strung together. On 
one cylinder of translucent green felspar, called amazon stone, 
whidi I believe to have been the signet, or amulet, of Senna- 
cherib himself, is engraved the king standing in an arched frame as 
on the rock tablets at Uavian, and at the Nahr-el-Kelb in Syria. 
He holds in one hand the sacrifidal mace, and raises the other 
in the act of adoration before the winged figure in a circle, 
here represented as a triad with three heads. This mode of por- 
traying this emblem is very rare on Assyrian relics, and is highly 
interesting, as confirming the conjecture that the mythic human 
figure, with the wings and tail of a bird, inclosed in a circle, 
was the symbol of the triune god, 
the supreme deity of the As- 
syrians, and ofthe Persians, their 
successors, in the empire of the 
East.' In front of the king is 
an eunuch, and the sacred tree, 
whose Sowers are, in this instance, 

in the form of an acorn. A mouQ- 

tun goat, standing upon a flower 

resembling the lotus, occupies 

the rest of the cylinder. The intaglio of this beautiful gem 

* Tbe relationship between the various AsByrian kings wboee names are 
found on the monumenU, was discovered bj mc during the firat excavalions, 
and pubtisliud in m; Nineveh and its Remains, vol. it. 2Dd part, cbap. I. 
Colonel Rawlinson in his firat memoir declares, that I bad been too haslj in 
attributing the south-west palace to the son of St!nnecherib,but he appears 
since to have adopted tbe same opinion. (Outlines of Assyrian History, p. 40.) 

t M. Lizard bud conjectured that the component parts of this representaLion 
of the triune deity were a circle or crovro to denote time without bounds, or 

Cb*p. VI] 


ia not deep but sharp and distinct, and ttie details are so minute, 
that a magnifjing glass is almost required to perceive them. 

On a smaller cylinder, in the same green felspar *, is a cunei- 
form inscription, which haa not yet been deciphered, hut which 
does not appear to contain any royal name. On two cylinders 
of onyx, also found at Kouyuojik, and now in the British Mu- 
seum, ore, however, the name and titles of Sennacherib. 

ereraltjr, the image of Baal the supreme gtMl, and tbe wing* and tiiil of a dove, 
to typify the association of Sljliita, tbe Au^ian Veoua. (Nineveh and iti 
Remains, vol. ii. p. 449. note.) 

• A cylinder, not jet engraved or pierced, and several bends, are in tbe 
••me material. Part of another c)rlindt;r appears to be of a kind of vitreous 
composition. I shall, hereaAer, describe the nature and use of these relics, 
which are so frequcnllj found in Asajrian and Babylonian ruins. 

N — or OTBBK AacBEg — 

The gtgitntic hunian-headed liona, first discovered in the north- 
west palace at Nimroud^, were still stnnding in their original 
position. Having been carefully covered up with earth previous 
to my departure in 1848, they had been preserved from expo- 
sure to the effects of the weather, and to wanton injury on the 
part of the Arabs. The Trustees of the British Museum wishing 
to add these fine sculptures to the national collection I was directed 

* Nineveh and its Bemuna, vol. i. p. 65. 

Chap. VIL] 



to remove them entire. A road through the ruins, for their trans- 
port to the edge of the mound, was in the first place necessary, 
and it was commenced early in December. They would thus be 
ready for embarkation as soon as the waters of the river were 
sufficiently high to bear a raft so heavily laden, over the rapids and 
shallows between Nimroud and Baghdad. This road was dug to 
the level of the pavement or artificial platform, and was not finished 
till the end of February, as a large m^ss of earth and rubbish 
had to be taken away to the depth of fifteen or twenty feet. 
During the progress of the work we found some carved fragments 
of ivory similar to those already placed in the British Museum ; 
and two massive sockets in bronze, in which turned the hinsres 

of a gate of the palace. No 
remains of the door-posts, or 
other parts of the gate, were 
discovered in the ruins &nd it 
is uncertain whether these rings 
were fixed in stone or wood.* 

In the south-eastern corner of 
the mound tunnels carried be- 
neath the ruined edifice, which 
is of the seventh century b. c, 
showed the remains of an earlier 
buildinj^. A vaulted drain, about five feet in width, was also 
di.^oovcTcMl. The arch was turned with large kiln-burnt bricks, 
and rented upon side walla of the same material. The bricks 
iK-innr ijquare, and not expre:5sly made for vaulting, a space 
war* left above the centre of the arch, which was filled up by bricks 
laid hmgitudinally. 

Althou^^'h thiij may not be a j)erfect arch, we have seen from the 
vaultc'l ehainber dis^covered in the very centre of the high mound 
at the north-west corner, that the Asj<yrians were well acquainted 
at an early period with its true principle. Other examples were 
not wantinrr in the ruins'. The earth fallinfj awav from the sides 
of the drep trench opened in the north-west palace for the removal 
of the bull and lion during the former excavations, left uncovered 
the entrance to a vaulted drain or pas8a<:e built of sun-dried bricks. 
Beneath was a small watercourse, inclosed by square i)ieced of 

• Til*' *<><ket!i, which arc now in the Hriti»h Museum, weijrh Gib. 3joz. ; the 
tlianuter '.f the riiij; is alxiut five inchi**. Tlie hini»e» and Iruincs of the br 
gatei at Uab)lon were also of bra»8 (Ilennl. i. 17S.). 

.»•» ( 

r rf -1 n. 



alabaster." A fhlnl arch, equally perfect in character, was found 
beneath the ruins of the Bouth-eaet edifice. A tunnel hod been 

opened almost on a level with the plain, and carried far into the 
Bouthem face of the mound, but without the discovery of any other 
remains of building than this solitary brick arch. This part of the 
artificial elevation or platform appears to consist entirely of earth, 
heaped up without any attempt at regular construction. It con- 
tained no relics except a few rude vessels, or vosea, in the coarsest 

In the south-east corner of the quadrangle, formed by the low 
mounds marking the walls once surrounding this quarter of the 
city of Nineveh, or the park attached to the royal residence, the 
level of tlie soil is considerably higher than in any other part of 
the inclosed space. This sudden inequality evidently indicates the 

* See woodcut at the bead of this cliapler. This dram was bencutli chambers 
S. and T. of the anrtb-vrest pnlace. (S«e Flan III. Nineveh and its Remains, 
vol. i. p. 02.) 


site of some ancient edifice. Connected with it, rising aliruptly, 
nnd almost perpendicularly, from the plain, and furunng one of 

the curniTs of ilic wnlli», is a lolty, im'<;iilnr mound, wliicli is 
kriown to the Amlis liy tin' nnnic <if the Tel of Atluir, the 
Ijii-utcnnnt of Niniroiid.' Tunnels and tri-ncliC3 (iponcd in it 
^tinwtd notliing Imt enrtli, unniin';li.ti even witli bricks or Jrag- 
uiinti* of etiinc. Itunmina of walk nnd a pnvcnicnt of linked bricks 
win-, however, diwovercd in the lower part of tlic [ilutform. 
The bricks liad evidently been taken from Kune other building, 
for upon them were tmcca of colored figuri'S and patterns, uf 
the same chanfter as tho:^; on the sculptured wulU of the ]m- 
lace*. Their [iiiinled faces were placed downwanl;^, as if pur- 
[KMcly to conceal them, and the ilexigns upon them were in most 
instances injured or dt>troycd. A few fr.igmi'nts were eullectcd, 

• - Oul of tbil land went forlh.Asshiir, nml buiW«0 Nincv^U." (\. x. w:* 


and are now in the British Museum. The colors have faded, but 
were probably once as bright as the enamels of Khorsabad.* The 
outlines are white, and the ground a pale blue and olive green. 
The only other color used is a dull yellow. The most interesting 
specimens aref^ 

1. Four captives tied together by their necks, the end of the 
rope being held by the foremost prisoner, whose bands are free, 
whilst the others have their arms bound behind. They probably 
formed part of a line of captives led by an Assyrian warrior. They 
are beardless, and have bald heads, to which is attached a single 
feather.} Two of them have white cloths round their loins, the 
others long white shirts open in front, like the shirt of the modem 
Arab. The figures on this fragment are yellow on a blue ground. 

2. Similar captives followed by an Assyrian soldier. The ar- 
mour of the warrior is that of the later period, the scales and 
greaves are painted blue and yellow, and the tunic blue. The 
ground blue. 

3. Parts of two horses, of a man holding a dagger, and of an 
Assyrian warrior. The horses are blue. The man appears to 
have been wounded or slain in battle, and is naked, with the 
exception of a twisted blue cloth round the loins. Ground an 
olive green. 

4. Fragment, with Assyrian warriors on horses. Horses yellow, 
with blue trappings. Ground olive green. 

5. Part of a chariot and horse, yellow on a blue ground. 

6. A man, with a white cloth round his loins, pierced by two 
arrows. A fish, blue, with the scales marked in white ; and part 
of a horse's head, yellow. Ground yellow, 

* The colors on the Nineveh bricks have not yet been fully examined, but 
they appear to be precisely the same as those on the Babylonian, which have 
been carefully analyzed by Sir Henry De la Beche and Dr. Percy. The yellow 
is an antimoniate of lead, from which tin has also been extracted, called Naples 
yellow, supposed to be comparatively a modern discovery, though also used by 
the Egyptians. The white is an enamel or glaze of oxide of tin, an invention 
attributed to the Arabs of Northern Africa in the eighth or ninth century. The 
blue glaze is a copper, contains no cobalt, but some lead ; a curious fact, as this 
mineral was not added as a coloring matter, but to facilitate the fusion of the 
glaze, to which use, it was believed, lead hud only been turned in comparatively 
modern times. The red is a sub- oxide of copper. 

t For facsimiles of these colored fragments, see 2nd series of Monuments 
of Nineveh, Plates 53y 54, 55, 

J On Egyptian monuments captives are portrayed with similar feathers 
attached to their heads ; but they appear to be of a negro race, whilst those on 
the Nimroud bricks bear no traces of negro color or physiognomy. (Wilkia- 
8on*s Ancient Egyptians, vol. i. plate, p. 385.) 

Chap, y a] PAINT£D BBICKS. 167 

7. Part of a walled tower, or fort, with square battlements ; 
white, on a blue ground. 

8. Fragment of a very spirited design representing a chariot and 
horses passing over a naked figure, pierced through the neck by an 
arrow. Under this group are the heads, and parts of the shields, 
of two Assyrian warriors. The wounded man wears a fillet round 
bis head, to which is attached a feather. The horses are blue, and 
their trappings white ; the wheels of the chariot, yellow. The 
shields of the warriors are blue, edged by a band of alternate 
squares of blue and yellow ; their helmets are yellow, but the faces 
appear to be merely outlined in white on the olive green ground. 

9. The lower part of an Assyrian warrior, his armour and greaves 
blue, yellow, and white. The naked hand is of a pale brown colon 
Ground olive green. 

10. A castle, with angular battlements ; white, with yellow bands 
on a blue ground. A square door is painted blue. 

All these fragments evidently belong to the same period, and 
probably to the same general subject, the conquest of some distant 
nation by the Assyrians. It is evident, from the costume of the 
warriors, and the form of the chariots, that they are of the 
later epoch, and without attempting to fix their exact date, I 
should conjecture that they had been taken from the same build- 
ing as the detached bas-reliefs in the south-west palace, and that 
consequently they may be attributed to the same king.* The 
outlines are spirited, in character and treatment resembling the 

A fragment of painted brick, found in the ruins of the north- 
west paliice, is undoubtedly of a different, and of an earlier, period.f 
The outline is in black, and not in white. The figures, of which 
the heads have been destroyed, wear the same dress as the 
tribute-bearers bringing the monkey and ornaments, on the ex- 
terior walls of the same building. J The upper robe is blue, the 
under yellow, and the fringes white. The ground is yellow. 

But the most perfect and interesting specimen of painting is that 
on a brick, 12 inches by 9, discovered in the centre of the mound 
of Nimroud, and now in the British Museum. It represents the 
king followed by his attendant eunuch, receiving his general or 
vizir, a group very similar to those seen in the sculptures from the 
north-west palace. Above his head is a kind of fringed pavilion, 

• That us M will be hercaAor shown, to Pul, or TigUth Pilcscr. 
t Ko. 6. Plate 53. 2nd series of Monuments of NincTch. 
} First series of Monuments of Nineveh, Plate 40. 

M 4 


and part of an inscription^ which appears to have contained his 
name ; beneath him is the Assyrian guilloche border.* The outline 
is in black upon a pale yellow ground^ the colors having probably 
faded. From the costume of the king I believe him to be either 
the builder of the north-west or centre palace. This is an unique 
specimen of an entire Assyrian painting. ' 

During the greater part of the month of December I resided at 
Nimroud. One morning, I was suddenly disturbed by the reports 
of firearms, mingled with the shouts of men and the shrieks of 
women. Issuing immediately from the house, I found the open 
space behind it a scene of wild excitement and confusion. Horse- 
men, galloping in all directions and singing their war song, 
were driving before them with their long spears the cattle and 
sheep of the inhabitants of the village. The men were firing at 
the invaders ; the women, armed with tent poles and pitchforks, 
and filling the air with their shrill screams, were trying to rescue 
the animals. The horsemen of the Arab tribe of Tai had taken 
advantage of a thick mist hanging over the Jaif, to cross the Zab 
early in the morning, and to fall upon us before we were aware of 
their approach. No time was to be lost to prevent bloodshed, 
and all its disagreeable consequences. A horse was soon ready, 
and I rode towards the one who appeared to be the chief of the 
attacking party. Although his features were concealed by the 
heffieh closely drawn over the lower part of his face, after the 
Bedouin fashion in war, he had been recognised as Saleh, the 
brother of the Howar, the Sheikh of the Tai. He saluted me 
as I drew near, and we rode along side by side, whilst his followers 
were driving before them the cattle of the villagers. Directing 
Hormuzd to keep back the Shemutti, I asked the chief to restore 
the plundered property. Fortunately, hitherto only one man of the 
attacking party had been seriously wounded. The expedition was 
chiefly directed against the Jebours, who some days before had car- 
ried off a large number of the camels of the Tai. I promised to do 
my best to recover them. At length Saleb, for my sake, as he 
said, consented to restore all that had been taken, and the inha- 
bitants of Nimroud were called upon to claim each his own property. 
As we approached the ruins, for the discussion had been carried on 
as we rode from the village, my Jebour workmen, who had by this 
time heard of the affray, were preparing to meet the enemy. Some 
had ascended to the top of the high conical mound, where they had 
collected stones and bricks ready to hurl against the Tai should 

* Plate 66, 2nd series of Monuments of Nineveh. 

Chap. VIL] TI81T TO THE HOWAR. 169 

they attempt to follow them. Thus probably assembled on this 
very mound, which Xenophon calls a pyramid, the people of La-* 
rissa when the ten thousand Greeks approached their ruined city.* 
Others advanced towards us, stripped to their waists, brandishing 
their swords and short spears in defiance, and shouting their war- 
cry. It was with difiSculty that, with the assistance of Hormuzd, 
I was able to check this display of valour, and prevent them from 
renewing the engagement. The men and women of the village 
were still following the retreating horsemen, clamoring for various 
articles, such as cloaks and handkerchiefs, not yet restored. In the 
midst of the crowd of wranglers, a hare suddenly sprang from her 
form and darted over the plain. My greyhounds, who had followed 
me from the house, immediately pursued her. This was too much 
for the Arabs ; their love of the chase overcame even their propen- 
sity for appropriating Other people's property ; cattle, cloaks, swords, 
and keffieJis were abandoned to their respective claimants, and 
the whole band of marauders joined wildly in the pursuit. 
Before we had reached the game we were far distant from Nimroud. 
I seized the op|>ortunity to conclude the truce, and Saleh with his 
followers rode slowly back towards the ford of the Zab to seek his 
brother's tents. I promised to visit the Howar in two or three 
days, and we parted with mutual assurances of friendship. 

Accordingly, two days afterwards, I started with Hormuzd, 
Schloss, and a party of Abou- Salman horsemen, for the tents of the 
Tai. We took the road by an ancient Chaldaean monastery, called 
Kuther Ellas, and in three hours reached the Zab. The waters, 
however, were so much swollen by recent rains, that the fords were 
impai«sablc, and having vainly attempted to find some means of 
crossing the river, we were obliged to retrace our steps. 

I spent Christmas-day at Nimroud, and on the 28th renewed the 
attiMnpt to visit the Ilowar. Schloss again accompanied me, Mr. 
Kolland (a traveller, who had recently joined us), Hormuzd, and 
A wad being of the party. Leaving the Kuther Elias to the 
left, we passed the ruined village of Kini-Haremi, taking the 
direct track to the Zab. The river, winding through a rich allu- 
vial plain, divides itself into four branches, before entering a range 
of low conglomerate hills, between which it sweeps in its narrowed 
bed with great velocity. The four channels are each fordable, except 
during floods, and the Arabs generally cross at this spot. The water 
reached above the bellies of our horses, but we found no diflSculty 
in stemming the current The islands and the banks were clothed 

^ Ajub. L iiL 0. 4. 


with trees and brushwood. In the mud and sand near the jungle 
were innumerable deep, sharp prints of the hoof of the wild boar. 
About two railes above the ford^ on the opposite side, rose a 
large, table-shaped mound, called Abou-Sheetha. We rode to it^ 
and I carefully examined its surface and the deep rain-worn 
ravines down its sides, but there were no remains of building; 
and although fragments of brick and pottery were scattered over 
it, I could see no traces upon them of cuneiform characters ; yet 
the mound was precisely of that form which would lead to the con- 
jecture that it covered an edifice of considerable extent Awad, 
however, subsequently excavated in it without finding any ruins 
of the Assyrian period. A few urns and vases were the only 
objects discovered. 

The tents of the Howar were still higher up the Zab. Sending 
a hoi*seman to apprise the chief of our approach, we rode leisurely 
towards them. Near Abou-Sheetha is a small village named 
Kaaitli, inhabited by sedentary Arabs, who pay tribute to the 
Sheikh. A few tents of the Tai were scattered around it. As we 
passed by, the women came out with their children, and pointing 
to me exclaimed, ** Look, look ! this is the Beg who is come from 
the other end of the world to dig up the bones of our grandfathers 
and grandmothers!" a sacrilege which they seemed inclined to 
resent. Saleh, at the head of fifty or sixty horsemen, met us 
beyond the village, and conducted us to the encampment of his 

The tents were pitched in long, parallel lines. That of the chief 
held the foremost place, and was distinguished by its size, the upright 
spears tufted with ostrich feathers at its entrance, and the many high- 
bred mares tethered before it. As we approached, a tall, commanding 
figure, of erect and noble carriage, issued from beneath the black 
canvass, and advanced to receive me. I had never seen amongst 
the Arabs a man of such lofty stature. His features were regular 
and handsome, but his beard, having been fresh dyed with hennah 
alone*, was of a bright brick- red hue, ill suited to the gravity and 
dignity of his countenance. His head was encircled by a rich 
cashmere shawl, one end falling over his shoulder, as is the custom 
amongst the Arabs of the Hedjaz. He wore a crimson satin robe 
and a black cloak, elegantly embroidered down the back, and on 
one of the wide sleeves with gold thread and many-colored silks. 
This was Sheikh Howar, and behind him stood a crowd of fol- 

* In order to dye the hair black, a preparation of indigo should be used 
after the hennah. 


lowers and adherents, many of whom had the features and stature 
which marked the family of the chief. 

As I dismounted, the Sheikh advanced to embrace me, and when 
his arms were round my neck my head scarcely reached to his 
shoulder. He led me into that part of the tent which is set aside 
for guests. It had been prepared for my reception, and was not ill 
furnished with cushions of silk and soft Kurdish carpets. The tent 
itself was more capacious than those usually found amongst Arabs. 
The black goat-hair canvass alone was the load of three camels *, 
and was supported by six poles down the centre, with the same 
number on either side. Around a bright fire was an array of highly 
burnished metal coffee-pots, the largest containing several quarts, 
and the smallest scarcely big enough to fill the diminutive cup re- 
served for the solitary stranger. Several noble falcons, in their 
gay hoods and tresses, were perched here and there on their stands. 
The Howar seated himself by my side, and the head men of his 
tribe, who had assembled on the occasion, formed a wide circle in 
front of us ; Saleh, his brother, standing without, and receiving 
the commands of the Sheikh. 

Coffee was, of course, the first business. It was highly spiced, 
as drank by the Bedouins. The Howar, after some general con- 
versation, spoke of the politics of the Tai, and their differences with 
the Turkish government. The same ruinous system which has 
turned some of the richest districts of Asia into a desert^ and has 
driven every Aral) clan into open rebellion against the Sultan, had 
been pursued towards himself and his tribe. He was its acknow- 
le<lgcd hereditary chief, and enjoyed all the influence such a posi- 
tion can confer. For years he had collected and paid the appointed 
tribute to the Turkish authorities. Fresh claims had, however, 
been put forward : the governors of Arbil, in whose district the Tai 
pa^^tured their flocks, were to be bribed ; the Pashas of Baghdad 
re(jnired presents, and the tribute itself was gradually increased. 
At length the Howar could no longer satisfy the growing de- 
mamU u|)on him. One of the same family was soon found who 
promised to he more yielding to the insatiable avarice of the Os- 
uianlis, and, in consideration of a handsome bribe, Faras, his 
cousin, was named Sheikh of the tribe. The new chief had his 
own followers, the support of the government gave him a certain 
authority, and the Tai were now divided into two parties. The 
Pasha of Baghdad and the governor of Arbil profited by their 

* The canriM of such tent« it dirideil into stript, which, packed •cparmtelj 
on the cameb during a march, are easil/ anited again by coane \hxtt%»l^ ^ 
hj froall wooden pint. 


dissensions, received bribes from both, and from others who aimed 
at the sheikhship, and the country had rapidly been reduced to a 
state of anarchy. The Arabs^ liaving no one responsible chief, 
took, of course, to plundering. The villages on the Mosul side of 
the Zab, as well as in the populous district of Arbil, were laid 
waste. The Kurds, who came down into the plains during the 
winter, were encouraged to follow the example of the Tai, and, 
from the rapaciousness and misconduct of one or two oflScers of the 
Turkish government, evils had ensued whose consequences will be 
felt for years, and which will end in adding another rich district to 
the desert. Such is the history of almost every tribe in Turkey, 
and such the causes of the desolation that has spread over her 
finest provinces. 

The Tai, now reduced to two comparatively small branches, one 
under the Howar, the other residing in the desert of Nisibin, 
watered by the eastern branch of the Khabour of Kurdistan, is |k 
remnant of one of the most ancient and renowned tribes of Arabia. 
The Howar himself traces his descent from Hatem, a sheikh of 
the tribe who lived in the seventh century, and who, as the im- 
personation of all the virtues of Bedouin life, is the theme to this 
day of the Arab muse. His hospitality, his generosity, his 
courage, and his skill as a horseman were alike unequalled, and 
there is no name more honored amongst the wild inhabitants of 
the desert than that of Hatem Tai. Tlie Howar is proud of his 
heroic ancestor, and the Bedouins acknowledge and respect his 

We dined with the Sheikh and sat until the night was far spent, 
listening to tales of Arab life, and to the traditions of his tribe. 

On the following morning the tents were struck at sunrise, and 
the chief moved with his followers to new pastures. The crowd 
of camels, flocks, cattle, laden beasts of burden, horsemen, footmen, 
women and children darkened the plain for some miles. We 
passed through the midst of them with the Sheikh, and leaving 
him to fix the spot for his encampment, we turned from the river 
and rode inland towards the tents of his rival, Faras. Saleh, with 
a few horsemen, accompanied me, but Schloss declared that it was 

• The reader may remember a well-known anecdote of this celebrated 
Sheikh, still current in the desert. He was the owner of a matchless mare 
whose fame had even reached the Greek Emperor. Ambassadors were sent 
from Constantinople to ask the animal of the chief, and to offer any amount of 
gold in return. When they announced, after dining, the object of their 
embassy, it was found, that the tribe suffering from a grievous famine, and 
having nothing to offer to their guests, the generous Hatem had slain his own 
priceless mare to entertain them. 

Chaf.vii.] sheikh far as. 173 

agninst all the rules of Arab etiquette for a stranger, like myself, 
to take undue advantage of the rights of hospitality by introducing 
an enemy under my protection into an encampment. There was 
a feud between the two chiefs, blood had actually been spilt, and 
if Saleh entered the dwellings of his rivals, disagreeable conse- 
quences might ensue, although my presence and the fact of his 
having eaten bread with me would save him from actual danger. 
However, one of my objects was to bring about a reconciliation 
between the two chiefs, and as Saleh had consented to run the 
risk of accompanying me, I persevered in my determination. 
Schloss was not to be persuaded, he hung behind, sulked, and 
finally turning the head of his mare, rode back with his com- 
panions to the river. I took no notice of his departure, antici- 
pating his speedy return. He recovered from his ill humor, and 
joined us again late in the evening. 

The plain, bounded by the Tigris, the great and lesser Znb, and 
the Kurdish hills, is renowned for its fertility. It is the granary 
of Baghdad, and it is a common saying amongst the Arabs, " that 
if there were a famine over the rest oF the earth, Shomamok (for so 
the principal part of the plain is called) would still have its 
harvest," This district belongs chiefly to the Tai Arabs, who wander 
from pasture to pasture, and leave the cultivation of the soil to 
small sedentary tribes of Arabs, Turcomans, and Kurds, who dwell 
in villap;e8, and pay an annual tribute in money or in kind. 

As \vc riKlc along we passed many peasants industriously driving 
the |)lou<jh through the rich soil. Large flocks of gazelles grazed 
in the cultivated patches, scarcely fearing the husbandman, though 
speedily bounding away over the plain as horsemen approached. 
Artificial mounds rose on all sides of us, and near one of the largest, 
called Abou-Jcrdeh, we found the black tents of Sheikh Faras. 
The min began to fall in torrents before we reached the encan)|>- 
nient. The chief had ridden out to a neighbouring: village to make 
arrangements for our better protection against the weather. He 
soon returned urging his mare to the top of her speed. In person 
he wa** a sininge contrast to the elder member of his family. He 
was short, squat, and fat, and his coarse features were buried in a 
frame of hair dyed bright red. He was, however, profuse in 
a^suninces of friendship, talked incessantly, agreed to all I proposed 
with regard to a reconciliation with the other branch of the tribe, 
and receive<l Saleh with every out wani sign of cordiality. His son 
had m(»re of the dignity of his race, l>ut the expression of his 
countenance was forbidding and sinister. The two young men, 
as they sat, cast looks of defiance at each other, and 1 VvoA «o\£l^ 


difficulty In restraining Saleh from breaking out in invectives^ 
which probably would have ended in an appeal to the sword. 

As the rain increased in violence, and the tent offered but an 
imperfect shelter, we moved to the village, where a house had 
been prepared for us by its honest, kind-hearted Turcoman chief, 
Wali Bey. With unaffected hospitality he insisted that we should 
become his guests, and had already slain the sheep for our enter- 
tainment. I have met few men who exceed, in honesty and fidelity, 
the descendants of the pure Turcoman race, scattered over Asia 
Minor and the districts watered by the Tigris. 

On the following morning, Wali Bey having first provided an 
ample breakfast, in which all the luxuries of the village were set 
before us, we again visited the tents of the Howar. After ob- 
taining his protection for Awad, who was to return in a few 
days with a party of workmen, to explore the mounds of Sho- 
mamok, and settling the terms of reconciliation between himself 
and Faras, we followed the baggage, which had been sent before 
us to the ford. On reaching the Zab, we found it rising rapidly 
from the rains of the previous day. Our servants had already 
crossed, but the river was now impassable. We sought a ford 
higher up, and above the junction of the Ghazir. Having struggled 
in vain against the swollen stream, we were compelled to give up 
the attempt. Nothing remained but to seek the ferry on the high 
road, between Arbil and Mosul. We did not reach the small vil- 
lage, where a raft is kept for the use of travellers and caravans, 
until nearly four o'clock in the afternoon, and it was sunset before 
we had crossed the river. 

We hurried along the direct track to Nimroud, hoping to cross 
the Ghazir before night-fall. But fresh difficulties awaited us. 
That small river, collecting the torrents of the Missouri hills, had 
overflown its bed, and its waters were rushing tumultuously on- 
wards, with a breadth of stream almost equalling the Tigris. We 
rode along its banks, hoping to find an encampment where we could 
pass the night. At length, in the twilight, we spied some 
Arabs, who immediately took refuge behind the walls of a ruined 
village, and believing us to be marauders from the desert, prepared 
to defend themselves and their cattle. Directing the rest of the 
party to stop, I rode forward with the Bairakdar, and was in time 
to prevent a discharge of fire-arms pointed against us. The Arabs 
were of the tribe of HadJedeen, who having crossed the Ghazir, 
with their buffaloes, had been unable to regain their tents on the 
opposite side by the sudden swelling of the stream. 

Cmap.VIL] return to wimeoud. 175 

The Deareet iDhabited village was Tel Aewad, or Kara Tuppeh, 
still far distant. As we rode towards it in the dusk, one or two 
wolves lazily stole from the brushwood, and jackals and other 
beasts of prey occasionally crossed our path. We found the Kiayah 
seated with some travellers round a blazing fire. The miserable 
faut was soon cleared of its occupants, and we prepared to pass the 
night as we best could. 

Towards dawn the Kiayah brought us word that the Ghazir had 
subsided sufficiently to allow US to ford. We started under his 
guidance, and found that the stream, although divided into three 
branches, reached in some places almost to the backs of the horses. 
Safe over, we struck across the country towards Nimroud, and 
reached the ruins as a thick morning mist was gradually withdrawn 
from the lofty mound. 

Durii^ our absence, a new chamber had been opened in the 
north-west palace, to the south of the great centre hall. The 
walls were of plain, sun-dried brick, and there were no remains of 
sculptured slabs, but in the earth and rubbish which had filled it, 
were discovered some of the most interesting relics obtained from 
the ruins of Assyria. A description of its contents alone will 
occupy a chapter. 


The newly discovered chnmber was pait of the Dorlh-west palace, 
and adjoined a room previously explored.* Its only entrance was 
to the west, and almost on the edge of the mound. It must, con- 
sequently, have opened upon a gallery or terrace running along the 
river front of the building. The walls were of sun-dried brick, 
panelled round the bottom with lai^e burnt bricks, about three 
feet high, placed one against the other. They were coated with 
bitumen, and, like those forming the pavement, were inscribed with 

* It WM poratlel to, and to the south of, the chamber marked A A, in the 
plut of the north-west palace. (Nioeveh and its Remains, vol. i. Flan 111.) 

Chap. VIII.] 



the name and usual titles of the royal founder of the building. 
In one corner, and partly in a kind of recess, was a well, the 
mouth of which was formed by brickwork about three feet high. 
Its sides were also bricked down to the conglomerate rock, and 
holes had been left at regular intervals for descent. When first 
discovered it was choked with earth. The workmen emptied 
it until they came, at the depth of nearly sixty feet, to brackish 

The first objects found in this chamber were two plain copper 
vessels or caldrons, about 2^ feet in diameter, and 3 feet deep, 
resting upon a stand of brickwork, with their mouths closed by 
large tiles. Near them was a copper jar, which fell to pieces 
almost as soon as uncovered. Several vases of the same metal, 
though smaller in size, had been dug out of other parts of the 
ruins; but they were empty, whilst those I am describing were 
filled with curious relics. I first took out a number of small bronze 

I 1 .;..('; u . 1) 

rclls+ with iron tongues, and various email copper ornaments, 
H»nie ^u^penlled to wire?. With them were a quantity of taper- 
in;r bronze rod?, bent into a hook, and ending in a kind of lip. 
IJcUfatli were several bronze cups and ilishcs, which I succeeded 
in n niuving entire. Sciittcrud in the earth amongst these objects 
were t* hundred btuds and buttons in mother of pearl and 
ivory, with many 6»nmll roj*ettes in metal. 

All the ol»jects contained in these caldrons, with the exception of 

• r. w n clN in th..* jilalns lx)nlorin;; on tbo Ti^rris yield sweet water. 

t Til.- riMmn-i mutaiiied ahout eighty belU. The larjje.nt are i\\ inches 
iiV'h, an 1 2\ Uulw* in •ILiinetor, the .-inaUeHt 1 J inch hi;:h, and }{ inch iu 
djaju iK-r. With the rest ot* the relies thev are now in the IJiiti>h MuMuni. 



the cups and diehee, were probably ornainenta of horse and chariot 
furniture. The accompanying woodcut from a bas-relief at Kouyun- 
jik,wiU show the way in 
which the studs of ivory 
and mother of pearl, 
and the rosettes or stars 
of metal, were probably 
used. The horses of 
the Aesyriao cavalry, 
as well as those har- 
nessed to chariots, are 
continually represented 
in the sculptures with 
bells round their necks, 
and in the Bible we find 
allusion to this custom.* 
The use of the metal 
hooks cannot be so ea- 
tisfkctorily traced ; they 
probably belonged to 

some part of the chariot, or 
the horse trappings. 

Beneath the caldrons were 
heaped lions' and buils' feet 
of bronze; and the remains of 
iron rings and bars, probably 
parts of tripods, or stands, for 
supporting vessels and bowlsf; 

• Zech. xiv. 20. 

t Tripod-Btands, consisting of a circular ring raised upon feet, to hold jars 
and TBies, are frequentlj Tcpresented In the bss-reliefs. (See particularlj 
Botta'B large work, plate 141.) The ring was of iron, bound in some places 
with copper, and the feet parlly of Iron and partly of bronze ingeniouslj cut 




which, as the iron had rusted away, had fallen to pieces, leaving 
such parts entire as were in the more durable metal. 

Two other caldrons, found further within the chamber, contained, 
besides several plates and dishes, four crown shaped bronze orna- 
ments, perhaps belonging to a throne or couch * ; two long orna- 
mented bands of copper, rounded at both ends, apparently l)elts, 
such as were worn by warriors in armour f; a grotesque head in 
bronze, probably the top of a mace ; a metal wine-strainer of elegant 
shape ; various metal vessels of peculiar form, and a bronze orna- 
ment, probably the handle of a dish or vase. 

Eight more caldrons and jars were found in other parts of the 
chamber. One contained ashes and bones, the rest were empty.J 
Some of the larger vessels were crushed almost flat, probably by 
the falling in of the upper part of the building. 

With the caldrons were discovered two circular flat vessels, 
nearly six feet in diameter, and about two feet deep, which I can 
only compare with the brazen sea that stood in the temple of 
Solomon. § 

Caldrons are frequently represented as part of the spoil and 
tribute, in the sculptures of Nimroud and Kouyunjik. || They 
were so much valued by the ancients that, it appears from the 
Homeric poems, they were given as prizes at public games, and 
were considered amongst the most precious objects that could be 
carried away from a captured city. They were frequently embossed 
with flowers and other ornaments. Homer declares one so adorned 
to be worth an ox.% 

* If, however, they were part of a throne, it is difficult to account for their 
being found detached in the caldron. They measured 6 inches in diameter, 
and 2 inches in depth. 

f Resembling those of the eunuch warriors in Plate 28. of the 1st series of 
the Monuments of Nineveh. 

I One of the jars was 4 feet 11 inches high. Two of the caldrons with 
handles on each side were 2 feet 5 inches in diameter, and 1 foot 6 inches 

§ 2 Chron. iv. 2. The dimensions, however, of this vessel were far greater. 
It is singular that in some of the bas-reliefs large metal caldrons supported on 
brazen oxen are represented. 

II See particularly Monuments of Nineveh, 1st series, Plate 24., and 2nd 
series, Plate 35., and on the black obelisk. They were carried away by the 
Babylonians from Jerusalem. Jerem. lii. 18. 

% They were dedicated to the gods in temples. Coloeus dedicated a large 
vessel of brass, adorned with griffins, to Here. Herod, iv. 152. 


ouicTB a B«o»™. 


Behind the caldrons was a heap of curious and interesting ob- 
jects. In one place were piled without order, one above the other, 
bronze cups, bowls, and dishes of various sizes and shapes. The 
upper vessels having been most exposed to damp, the metal had 
been eaten away by rust, and was crumbling into fragments, or into 
a green powder. As they were cleared away, more perfect speci- 
mens were taken out, until, near the pavement of the chamber, 
some were found almost entire. Many of the bowls and plates 
fitted so closely, one within the other, that they have only been 
detached in England. It required the greatest care and patience 
to separate them from the tenacious soil in which they were 

Although a green crystaline deposit, arising from the decompo- 
sition of the metal, encrusted all the vessels, I could distinguish 
upon many of them traces of embossed and engraved ornaments. 
Since they have been in England they have been carefully and 
skilfully cleaned by Mr. Doubleday, of the British Museum*, 
and the very beautiful and elaborate designs upon them brought 
to light t 

The bronze objects thus discovered may be classed under four 
heads — dishes with handles, plates, deep bowls, and cups. Some 
are plain, others have a simple rosette, scarab, or star in the centre, 
and many are most elaborately ornamented with the figures of 
men and animals, and with elegant fancy designs, either embossed 
or incised. Although the style, like that of the ivories from the 
same palace, and now in the British Museum, is frequently 
Egyptian in character, yet the execution and treatment, as well as 
the subjects, are peculiarly Assyrian. The inside, and not the out- 
side, of these vessels is ornamented. The embossed figures have 

* I seize this opportunity of expressing my thanks to that gentleman, for the 
kind assistance and valuable information I have received from him during my 
connection with the British Museum, and of bearing testimony to the judg- 
ment and skill he has displayed as well in the disembarkation and removal of 
the great sculptures, as in the cleaning and repairing of the most minute and 
delicate objects confided to his care. 

f Engravings of the most interesting of these vessels will be found in the 
2nd series of my Monuments of Nineveh. They have been chiefly executed 
from the admirable drawings of Mr. Prentice, to whom I am indebted for the 
very accurate representations of the ivories, published in my former work. 
The Trustees of the British Museum have judiciously employed that gentleman to 
make exact copies of these interesting relics, which, it is feared, will ere long be 
utterly destroyed by a process of natural decomposition in the metal, that no 
ingenuity can completely arrest. 

Chap. VIII.] 



been raised in the metal by a blunt Instrument^ three or four strokes 
of which in many instances very ingeniously produce the image of an 
animal.* Even those ornaments wliich are not embossed but incised, 
appear to have been formed by a similar process, except that the 
punch was applied on the inside. The tool of the graver has been 
sparingly used. 

The most interesting dishes in the collection brought to England 
are : — 

No. 1., with moving circular handle (the handle wanting), se- 
cured by three bosses ; 
diameter lOf inches, 
depth 2^ inches; divided 
into two friezes surround- 
ing a circular medallion 
containing a male deity 
with buIFs ears (?) and hair 
in ample curls f, wearing 
bracelets and a necklace 
of an Egyptian character, 
and a short tunic; the 
arms crossed, and the 
hands held by two 
Egyptians {^\ who place 
their other hands on the 
head of the centre figure. 
The inner frieze contains 
liorsemen draped as Egyp- 
tians, galloping round in 
pairs; the outer, figures 
, , , , also wearing: the Effyp- 

tian " shenti^ or tunic, 
huntinpj lions on horseback, on foot, and in chariots. The hair 
of the.-ic figures is dressed after a fashion, which prevailed in Egypt 
from tlie ninth to the eighth century B.C. Each frieze is separated 
by a band of guilloche ornament. J 

No. 2., diameter 10^ inches, having a low rim, partly destroyed ; 

ornamented with an embossed rosette of elegant shape, surrounded 

• The c'lnVjo^sin^r appears to Lave been procluccd by a proeess still practised 
bj ?iU«T*iniths. The metal was laid upon a bed of mixed clay and bitumen, 
and then punche<l from the outside. 

t 'Dm* K^rptian co«hkMM Atlior is represented with similar ears and hair. 

\ Munumentsof Nineveh, 2nd Series. Plate 6^. 

M 4 



[Chap. VIII. 

Bronza Dlah, from Nimroud. 

by three friezes of animals in high relief, divided by a guilloche 
band. The outer frieze contains twelve walking bulls, designed 

with considerable spirit; 
between each is a dwarf 
shrub or tree. The se- 
cond frieze has a bull, a 
winged griffin, an ibex, 
and a gazelle, walking one 
behind the other, and the 
same animals seized by 
leopards or lions, in all 
fourteen figures. The 
inner frieze contain twelve 
gazelles. The handle is 
formed by a plain movable 
rins:.* The ornaments 
on this dish, as well as the design, are of an Assyrian character. 
The bull, the wild-goat, and the griffin are the animals, evidently 
of a sacred character, which occur so frequently in the sculptures 
of Nimroud. The lion, or leopard, devouring the bull and gazelle, 
is a well-known symbol of Assyrian origin, afterwards adopted by 
other Eastern nations, and may typify, according to the fancy of 
the reader, either the subjection of a primitive race by the Assyrian 
tribes, or an astronomical phenomenon. 

No. 3., diameter 10| inches, and 1^ inch deep, with a raised star 
in the centre ; the handle formed by two rings, working in sockets 
fastened to a rim, running about one third round the margin, and 
secured by five nails or bosses ; four bands of embossed ornaments 
in low relief round the centre, the outer band consisting of alter- 
nate standing bulls and crouching lions, Assyrian in character and 
treatment ; the others, of an elegant pattern, slightly varied from the 
usual Assyrian border by the introduction of a fanlike flower in the 
place of the tulip. f 

Other dishes were found still better preserved than those just 
described, but perfectly plain, or having only a star, more or 
less elaborate, embossed or engraved in the centre. Many frag- 

* Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd series. Plate 60. 

t Id. A. Plate 57. I Lave called this flower, the lotus of the Egyptian sculp- 
tures, a tulip, as it somewhat resembles a bright scarlet tulip which abounds in 
early spring on the Assyrian plains, and may have suggest^id this elegant orna- 
ment. It has no resemblance whatever to the honeysuckle, by which name it 
is commonly known, when used in Greek architecture. 


mcDta were aUo dlsoovcred with elegant hanUlea, some formed by 
the figures of rams and bulla. 

Of the (jlfites the most rcmnrkaUle arc : — 

No. 1., iiliallinv, anil SJ inclics in diiimctcr, the centre slightly 
rai^icd and inci.-^d with a. star and five banda of tidip-shnpcd 
ornatnciits; the re.-'t occn]>icd by four groups, cacli consisting 
of two winged liawk-hefuktl Piiliinxc)', wearing the " [ishcnt," 
or (Town of the upiKT and lower country of Kgypt; one paw 
rair'cil, and res'tirig iiimu the head of a man kneeling on one knee, 
and lifting hin banda in the act of adoration. IJctwocn the 
PliliiiiM-', CHI a culuinu in tlic fiirni of a papyrus-sceptre, is the 
bu*t of a figure wearing on bia bc.iil the snn'a disc, with the ursci 
ifcqKJiite, a collar nmnd the neck, and four feathers ; above arc two 
wingfd gliilifs with the ni-pa, and a row of birda. Koch group is 
iticliir^i'd by two cobimua with capitals in the fomi of the Asayrian 
tulip ornanx lit, and is acjiamtcd from that ndji>ining by n scarab 
with out-aprcad winga, raising the globe with its fore feet, and 
n.->ting with its bind on a jiapyruB-sceptrc pillar.* This plate 
ia ill good preservation, having been found at the very bottom of 

* Munuiucnta uf NIdcvi-Ii, 3ui1 »> 


- 186 KINEVEH AND BABYLON. [Cbap. Till. 

a heap of aimilar relics. Part of the bronze waa still bright, and 
of a golden color ; hence the report spread at the time of the dis- 
covery, that an immense treasure in veaaeU of gold had been dug 
up at Kimroud. The emblems are evidently derived from familiar 
objects in Egyptian mythology, which may have been applied by 
the Assyrians to other ideas. The workmanship, although not 
purely Egyptian, appears to be more so than that of any other 
specimen in the collection, except a fragment very closely resem- 

bling this plate. • A scarab, apparently more of a Phoenician than 
of an £^ptian form, occurs as an ornament on many of these 
bronzes ; as in the centre of a well-preserved bowl otherwise plain, 
and on a dish. 

No. 2., depth, Ij in.; diameter, 9^ in., with a broad, rused 
lim, like that of a soup plate, embossed with figures of grey- 
hounds pursuing a hare. The centre contains a frieze in high 
relief, representing combats between men and lions, and a smaller 
border of gazelles, between gull loche bands, encircling an emboesed 
star.f In this very fine specimen, although the costumes of the 
figures are Egyptian in character, tlie treatment and design an 

No. 3., shallow; 9^ inches diameter; an oval in the centrei 
covered with dotted lozenges, and set with nine silver bosses, pn^ 
bably intended to represent a lake or valley, surrounded by four 
groups of hills, each with three crests in high relief, on which are 
incised in outline trees and stags, wild goats, bears, and leopards. 
On the sides of the hills, in relief, are similar figures of aninula. 
The outer rim is incised with trees and deer.} The workmanship of 
this specimen is Assyrian, and very minute and curious. The eob- 

* Monumentt of Nineveh, 2nd series. Piute 68. 
t Id. Plate 64. 
} Id. PkU 66. 


ject may represent an Assyrian paradise, or park, in a mountainous 

No. 4., diameter, 7^ inches, the centre raised, and containing 
an eight-rayed star, with smaller stars between each ray, encircled 
by a guilloche band. The remainder of the plate is divided into 
eight compartments, by eight double-faced figures of Egyptian 
character in high relief; between each figure are five rows of 
animals, inclosed by guilloche bands ; the first three consisting 
of stags and hinds, the fourth of lions, and the fifth of hares, each 
compartment containing thirteen figures. A very beautiful speci- 
men, unfortunately much injured.* 

No. 5., diameter, 8 J inches; depth, 1^ inch. The emboss- 
ings and ornaments on this plate are of an Egyptian character. 
The centre consists of four heads of the cow-eared goddess 
Athor (?), forming, with lines of bosses, an eight-rayed star, sur- 
rounded by hills, indicated as in plate No. 3., but filled in with 
rosettes and other ornaments. Between the hills are incised animals 
and trees. A border of figures, almost purely Egyptian, but unfor- 
tunately only in part preserved, encircles the plate ; the first remain- 
ing group is that of a man seated on a throne, beneath an ornamented 
arch, with the Egyptian Baal, represented as on the coins of 
Cossura, standing full face ; to the right of this figure is a square 
ornament with jiendants (resembling a sealed document), and be- 
neath it the crux ansata or Egyptian symbol of life. The next 
group is that of a warrior in Egyptian attire, holding a mace in 
his right hand, and in his left a bow and arrow, with the hair of a 
captive of smaller proportions, who crouches before him. At his 
side is a tame lion, recalling to mind the pictures on Egyptian 
monuments of Kameses II., accompanied by a lion during his 
campaigns. A goddess, wearing a long Egyptian tunic, presents a 
falchion with her right hand to this warrior, and holds a 8cei)tre in 
her left. Between these figures are two hieroglyphs, an ox's 
head and an ibis or an heron. Over the goddess is a square tablet 
for her name. The next group represents the Egyptian B;uil (?), 
with a lion's skin round his body, and plumes on his head, having 
on each side an Egyptian figure wearing the " shenty^ or short 
tunic, carrying a bow, and plucking the plumes from the head of 
the god, jKjrhaps 8yinl>olical of the victory of Ilorus over Typhon. 
This group is followed by a female figure, drajwd in the Assyrian 
fashion, but wearing on her head the triple crown of the Egyptian 
grnl Pncbta, holding in one hand a sword, and in the other a 

* MoDumcntA of Nineveh, 2nd scries. A. Plate 61. 


bow (?), and having on each side men, also dressed in the As- 
syrian costume, pouring out libations to her from a jug or chalice : 
the Egyptian symbol of life occurs likewise in this place. The 
Egyptian god Amon, bearing a bird in one hand and a falchion in 
the other, with female figures similar to that last described, ap- 
pears to form the next group ; but unfortunately this part of the 
plate has been nearly destroyed : the whole border, however, ap- 
pears to have represented a mixture of religious and historical 

No. 6., diameter, 6 in.; depth, 1^ in. ; a projecting rim, orna- 
mented with figures of vultures with outspread wings ; an embossed 
rosette, encircled by two rows of fan-shaped flowers and guilloche 
bands, occupies a raised centre, which is surrounded by a frieze, 
consisting of groups of two vultures devouring a hare. A highly 
finished and very beautiful specimen. On the back of this plate 
are five letters, either in the Phojnician or Assyrian cursive 

Nos. 7. and 8.; covered with groups of small stags, surrounding 
an elaborate star, one plate containing above 600 figures ; th*e ani- 
mals are formed by three blows from a blunt instrument or punch. 
These plates are ornamented with small bosses of silver and gold 
let into the copper. { 

No. 9., diameter, 7f inches ; depth, 1 J inch, of fine workmanship; 
the centre formed by an incised star, surrounded by guilloche and 
tulip bands. Four groups on the sides representing a lion, lurk- 
ing amongst papyri or reeds, and about to spring on a bull. 

No. 10., diameter 7^ inches. In the centre a winged scarab 
raising the disc of the sun, surrounded by guilloche and tulip bands, 
and by a double frieze, the inner consisting of trees, deer, winged 
uraji, sphinxes, and papyrus plants ; the outer, of winged scarabs, 
flying serpents, deer, and trees, all incised. 

The plates above described are the most interesting specimens 
brought to this country: there are others, indeed, scarcely less 
remarkable for beauty of workmanship §, or, when plain or or- 
namented with a simple star in the centre, for elegance of 
form. Of the seventeen deep bowls discovered, only three have 
embossings, suflBciently well preserved, to be described; the 

* Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd series. B. Plate 61. fid. B. Plate 62. 

t Id. E. Plate 57. and C. Plate 59. 

§ I may instance in particular a fragment covered with a very elegant and 
classic design. Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd series. Plate 62., and see Plates 57, 
58, 59. of same work. 

Cbap. VIII.] 



greater part appear to be perfectly plain. The moat remark- 
able is 8^ inches in diameter, and 3| inches deep, and has at the 
bottom, in the centre, an embossed star, surrounded by a rosette, 
and on the sides a hunting scene in bold relief. From a chariot, 
drown by two horses, and driven by a charioteer, a warrior turning 
back shoots an arrow at a lion, which is already wounded; whilst a 
second huntsman in armour, above whose head hovers a hawk, 
pierces the animal from behind with a spear. These figures arc 
followed by a sphinx, wearing the Egyptian head-dress " pshent" 
and a collar, on which is the bust of a winged, ram-headed god. 
Two trees, with flowers or leaves in the shape of the usual As- 
syrian tulip ornament, are introduced into the group. 

A second, 7| inches in diameter, and 3J inches deep, has in the 
centre a medallion aiinilar to that in the one last described, and 


.11,-1', two liiin.s and tivo i-phinxcs 
of Kgyplinn character, wearing 
a collar, feathers, and hiiutiings, 
and a liead-dress funned by a disc 
with lw<. uva>i. Holh howls are 
reuiaikal.le fm- llic boUhie.-s of 
the relief and the archaic treat- 
ment of the figure.-, in this re- 
ppect resembling the iv.-ries jire- 
viously discoven-d at Ts'iinroud. 
They forcibly call to miiul the 
early rcinniiif of (ireeee, and I'.spe- 
cially llic metal wi>rk, and paiiile<l 
p.aiery found in very ancient 


tomhe in Etruria, which they so closely resemble not only in de- 
sign but in subject, the same mythic animals and the same orna- 
ments being introduceJ, that we cannot but attribute to both the 
same origin/ I have given for 
the sake of comparison, wood-cuts 
of the bronze pedestal of a figure 
found at Polledram in Etruria, 
and now in the British Museum. 
The animals upon it are precisely 
similar to those upon the fragment 
of a dish brought from Ninerehj 

^^ and, moreover, that peculiar Aa- 

^ ifejTwHfllKll^ffijl 1 t^TJ^B Syrian ornament, the guilloche, is 

The third, 7| inches in diameter, 
and 2^ inches deep, has in the 
centre a star formed by the Egyptian hawk of the sun, bearing the 
disc, and having at its side a whip, between two rays ending in lotus 
flowers; on the sides are embossed figures of wild goats, lotus- 
shaped shrubs, and dwarf trees of peculiar form.f 
Of the cups the most remarkable are : — 

No. 1., diameter 5| inches, and 2^ inches deep, very elaborately 
ornamented with figures of animals, interlaced and grouped toge- 
ther in singular confusion, covering the whole inner surface ; ap- 
parently representing a combat between griffins and lions ; a very 
curious and interesting specimen, not unlike some of the Italian 
chasing of the cinque cento.} 

No. 2., a fragment, embossed with the 
figures of lions and bulls, of very fine 

Of the remaining cups many are plain 
but of elegant shape, one or two are 
ribbed, and some have simply an embossed 
star in the centre. 
About 150 bronze vessels discovered in this chamber are now 

• For the two Arajrian bowls see Plate 68, of tbo Jlonuments of Nineveti, 2nd 
series. These bronzes should also be compared with the vessels fuund at Ccrvetri, 
md engraved in Griffi's Monument! de Ceii Antica (Roma, 1841), and with 
various terracottas in the Bri^h Museum. 

t Monuments of Ninereh, 2nd series, C. Plate S7. 

t Id. Plate 67. 


in the British Museum, without including numerous fragments, 
which, although showing traces of ornament, are too far destroyed 
bj decomposition to be cleaned. 

I shall add, in an Appendix, some notes on the bronze and 
other substances discovered at Nimroud, obligingly communicated 
to me by Dr. Percy. It need only be observed here, that the 
metal of the dishes, bowls, and rings has been carefully ana- 
lysed by Mr. T. T. Philips, at the Museum of Practical Geology, 
and has been found to contain one part of tin to ten of copper, 
being exactly the relative proportions of the best ancient and mo- 
dern bronze. The bells, however, have fourteen per cent, of tin, 
showing that the Assyrians were well aware of the effect produced 
by changing the proportions of the metals. These two facts show 
the advance made by them in the metallurgic art. 

The effect of age and decay has been to cover the surface of all 
these bronze objects, with a coating of beautiful crystals of mala- 
chite, beneath which the component substances have been converted 
into suboxide of copper and peroxide of tin, leaving in many in- 
stances no traces whatever of the metals. 

It would appear that the Assyrians were unable to give elegant 
forms or a pleasing appearance to objects in iron alone, and that 
consequently they frequently overlaid that metal with bronze, 
either entirely, or partially, by way of ornament. Numerous in- 
teresting specimens of this nature are included in the collection 
in the British Museum. Although brass is now frequently cast 
over iron, the art of using bronze for this purpose had not, I 
believe, been introduced into modern metallurgy.* The feet of 
the ringtrij>ods previously described, furnish highly interesting 
specimens of this process, and prove the progress made by the 
Assyrians in it. Tlic iron inclosed within the copper has not been 
exposed to the same decay as that detached from it, and will still 
take a polish. 

The tin was probably obtained from Phoenicia ; and consequently 
that used in the bronzes in the British Museum may actually 
have been exported, nearly three thousand years ago, from the 
British Isles! We find the Assyrians and Babylonians making 
an extensive use of this metal, which was probably one of the chief 
articles of trade supplied by the cities of the Syrian coast, whose 
seamen sought for it on the distant shores of the Atlantic. 

* Mr. Robinson of Pimlico has, I am informed, succeeded in imitating some 
of the Assyrian specimens. 


The embossed and engraved vessels from Nimroud afford many 
interesting illustrations of the progress made by the ancients in 
metallurgy. From the Egyptian character of the designs, and es- 
pecially of the drapery of the figures, in several of the specimens, 
it may be inferred that some of them were not Assyrian, but 
had been brought from a foreign people. As in the ivories, how- 
ever, the workmanship, subjects, and mode of treatment are more 
Assyrian than Egyptian, and seem to show that the artist either 
copied from Egyptian models, or was a native of a country under 
the influence of the arts and taste of Egypt. The Sidonians, and 
other inhabitants of the Phcenician coast, were the most renowned 
workers in metal of the ancient world, and their intermediate posi- 
tion between the two great nations, by which they were alternately 
invaded and subdued, may have been the cause of the existence of a 
mixed art amongst them. In the Homeric poems they are frequently 
mentioned as the artificers who fashioned and embossed metal 
cups and bowls, and Solomon sought cunning men from Tyre to 
make the gold and brazen utensils for his temple and palaces.* It 
is, therefore, not impossible that the vessels discovered at Nimroud 
were the work of Phoenician artists f, brought expressly from 
Tyre, or carried away amongst the captives when their cities were 
taken by the Assyrians, who, we know from many passages in the 
Bible f, always secured the smiths and artizans, and placed them in 
their own immediate dominions. They may have been used for 
sacrificial purposes, at royal banquets, or when the king per- 
formed certain religious ceremonies, for in the bas-reliefs he is 
frequently represented on such occasions with a cup or bowl in his 
hand ; or they may have formed part of the spoil of some Syrian 
nation, placed in a temple at Nineveh, as the holy utensils of 
the Jews, after the destruction of the sanctuary, were kept In the 

* 1 Kings, vii. 13, 14. 2 Chron. iv. The importance attached to such objects 
in metal, which were chiefly used for sacred purposes, is shown by its being espe- 
cially recorded that Huram (or Hiram), the widow's son, was sent for to make 
" the pots, and the shovels, and the basons." Homer particularly mentions Si- 
don ian goblets as used at the funeral games of Patroclus. 

t It will be remembered that Phoenician characters occur on one of the plates. 
The discovery in Cyprus of twelve silver bowls very closely resembling those 
found at Nimroud, tend further to confirm the idea that many of these relics 
were the works of Phoenician artists ; unfortunately only two of these curious 
vessels have been preserved ; they are now in Paris ; one, the most perfect, 
in the collection of the Due de Luines, the other placed by M. de Saulcy in 
the Louvre. 

J 2 Kings, xxiv. 14. 16. Jelremiah, xxiv. 1.; xxix. 2. 

Chap. VIIL] 



temple of Babylon.* It is not, indeed, impossible, that some of 
them may have been actually brought from the cities round Jeru- 


-.. e la :i III ' K.I <i 1 

snlcm by Sennacherib liimself, or from Samaria by Shalmaneser or 
Sargon, who, we find, inhabited the palace at Nimroud, and of 
whom several relics have already been discovered in the ruins. 

• In ancient history, embossed or inUid poblets are continually mentioned 
amon^^st the offerings to celebrated shrines. Gyges dedicated goblets, Alyaltes, 
a silver cup, and an inlaid inm saucer (the art of inlaying, having been in- 
%ente<l, ortordin^: to lleroilotus by Glaucus), and Croesus similar vessels, in 
the temple of] )elphi. (Herod, i. 14. and 25. Pausanias, 1. x.) They were also 
given as acceptable presents to kings and distinguished men, as we see in 
2 Sam. Tiii. 10. and 2 Chron. ix. 23, 24. The Lacedwrnonians prepared for 
Cnrsusa brazen mnel omamrnted vrith forms of animals round the rim (Ilerod. 
i. 70.), like some of the bowls descril>ed in the text. The embosiiing.^ on the 
Nimroud bnmzes may furnish us with a very just idea of the figures and orna- 
roenta of the celebrate<l shield of Achilles, which were probably much the same 
in treatment and execution. 



Around the vessels I have described were heaped arms^ remains 
of armour, iron instruments^ glass bowls, and various objects in 
ivory and bronze. The arms consisted of swords, daggers, shields, 
and the heads of spears and arrows, which being chiefly of iron 
fell to pieces almost as soon as exposed to the air. A few speci- 
mens have alone been preserved, including the head of a weapon 
resembling a trident, and the handles of some of the swords (?), 
which, being partly in bronze, were less eaten away than the rest. 
The shields stood upright, one against the other, supported by a 
square piece of brick work, and were so much decayed that with 
great diflSculty two were moved and sent to England. They 
are of bronze, and circular, the rim bending inwards, and form- 
ing a deep groove round the edge. The handles are of iron, and 
fastened by six bosses or nails, the heads of which form an orna- 
ment on the outer face of the shield.* The diameter of the largest 
and most perfect is 2 feet 6 inches. Although their weight must 
have impeded the movements of an armed warrior, the Assyrian 
spearmen are constantly represented in the bas-reliefs with them. 
Such, too, were probably the bucklers that Solomon hung on his 


A number of thin iron rods, adhering together in bundles, were 
found amongst the arms. They may have been the shafts of 
arrows, which, it has been conjectured from several passages in the 
Old Testament, were sometimes of burnished metal. To " make 
bright the arrows % " may, however, only allude to the head fastened 
to a reed, or shaft of some light wood. Several such barbs, both 
of iron and bronze, have been found in Assyrian and Babylonian 
ruins, and are preserved in the British Museum. 

Au I.ju P;ck.hi.r.i Ni:ur^>iiil. 

The armour consisted of parts of breast-plates (?) and of other 
fragments, embossed with figures and ornaments. 

Amongst the iron instruments were the head of a pick, a double- 

♦ Such may have been " the bosses of the bucklers " mentioned in Job, xv. 26. 
t 1 Kings, X. 16, 17. ; xiv. 25, 26. 

I Jer. li. 11. Ezek. xxi. 21., and compare Isaiah, xlix. 2., where a polished 
shaft is mentioned. 


bandied saw (nbout 3 feet 6 iuchcs id lengtli), several objects re- 
Bcmbling the hcaild of eledge-hammers, aad a Inrge blunt gpear- 

head, Bucli tie we find from the Sculptures were used during eiegcs 

to force stonca from the walls of besieged cities.* 

The most interesting of tlie ivory relics were, a carved BtafT, 

perhaps n royal accptre, p:irt of which has been preserved, although 

in the last stage of decay; and several entire clephiints' tusks, 
the largest being about 2 feet 5 inches long. 
Amongst the ainaller objects were several figurca 
and rosettes, and four oval bossea, with the nails 
of copper still remaining, by which they were 
fastened to wood or some other materinl. 

The ivory could with difficulty be detached 
from the earth in which it wa-s imbedded. It 
fi'll to stiiall fragments, and even to dust, almost 
as soon as cxjiosed ti> the air. Such S|iccimcns 
as have been brouirht to this country have been 
ri-torcd, ami further decay checked by the same 
ingcnii)us pnice*:! that was applied to the Ivory 
ciirvin^s fir-t |>laccd in the Uriti-h Museum. 
I'aits only of the clepliauts' tusks have l>een 
pFL'sorved. Wo find from the bas-reliefs in 
the north-west palanc of Nimroudt, and on 
the olH'Ufk (where captives or tribute-bearers 

are t^n-ii carryini: tu^k-"), that ibis produce of the far Kast was 

br(iu;;ht at an eailv pericHl in cousidLTalile (pinntities to Assyria. 

I ha\e ilfr'.Tib.d i-1-ewheri't the frcinui.t u^e of ivory fi.r the 


• •i : 

i,t Ka 

(TU pa 

nil lemple.-^ 

.ell as f..] 

196 HINETEH AND BABTLON. [Cbap. Till. 

thrones and furniture. Ezekiel iDcludes "horns of ivory" amongst 
the objects brought to Tyre from Dedan, and the Assyrians may 
have obtained their supplies from the same country, which some 
believe to have been in the Persian Gulf.* 

Amongst various email objects in bronze were two cubes, each 
having on one face the figure of a scarab with outstretched wings, 
inlaid tn goldf ; very interesting specimens, and probably amongst 
the earliest known, of an art canied in modern times to great 
perfection in tlie East. 

Two entire glass bowls, with fragments of others, were also 
found in this chamber) ; the glass, like all that from the ruins, is 
covered with pearly scales, which, on being removed, leave pris- 
matic opal-like colore of the greatest brilliancy, showing, under 
different light?, the most varied and beautiful tints. This is a 
well known effect of age, arising from the decomposition of certain 
component parts of the glass. These bowls are probably of the 
same period as the small bottle found in the ruins of the north- 
west palace during the previous excavations, and now in the 
British Museum. On this highly interesting relic is the name of 
SargoD, with his title of king of Assyria, in cuneiform cha- 
racters, and the figure of a lion. We are, therefore, able to fix 
its date to the latter part of the seventh century B.C. It is, con- 
sequently, the most ancient known specimen of transparent glass, 
none from Egypt being, it is believed, earlier than the time of 
the Fsamettici (the end of the sixth or beginning of the fifth 

• Ezek. xxvii, 15. Ivory was amongst the objecta brought to Solomon by 
the navj ofThBrahiBh (1 Kinge x, 22.). 

t They weigh re«pecliyely 8-264 oi. and 3-299 oz., huve the appearance of 

I The larger, 5 inches in diameter, and 2 j IncheB deep ; the other, 4 inches in 
diameter, and 2^ deep. 

Cbaf.tiii.1 objects of glass. 197 

centuiy B. c). Opaque colored glass was, however, mnnufnctured 
at a much earlier period, and some exists of the fifteentli century, 
B.C. The Sargon vase was blowo in one solid piece, and then 
shaped and hollowed out by a tuming-mnchine, of which the marks 

are still plainly vieiMe. With it were found, it will be remem- 
bered, two lurgor vnsea in white nhibaiitcr, inscril^cd with the 
name of the same king. They were all probably used for holding 
some ointment or cosmetic* 

With the glass bowls was (Uncovered a rock-crysinl Ions, with 
opposite convex and plane fiicoi". lis luoperties could sciircely 
have been unkmiwn to the Assyrian^, and wc have conscqHt'nlly 
the earhcst si)eciMien of ii niiignifjing and buniiiip;-gliis9.t It 

• T\»- h.-i-ht nf t!.p triu** va«- is 3j inrlK-; of -Ii,- „lalM<kT. 

7 inrlio^. Til an 

■pi^-inlin Bill !«; f.iiiiKl Fcinii- Mnu':i liy Sir 1). UrowsUT, im 

tlii: r.'iiiaikal.k- 

DKlUrt' orillU I>r<.-,-M ulMv.'aiii|.n>;iinn ill llic ^i:!:'.' rnilll Nill.'V 


t I aril iixU'lil.-a U, Sir \>..^l\ lti^'»-i,-r. wlm o^jitiiiiiL'.l 

tlio l.-ns fu,- llie 

f..ll'.wii.^. I1..1.- : — '• 'I'lii* i.'iii i- ].\.in''-<-n-<.-x. ami -C a slij;li 

llvovttlli.rtii, ill 

Icnjlh l,-],i~ 1,*. i.irl.. an.) h, l.rca.ill. 1 ,V in,li. It w i.l 

.n„l ,.„tl.. of a.. 

inrh llilck, uikI a littl.- Tliickcr Bt oml- fiik' tliaii (ll.^ (itWr. 

Il^ jilain.' siirfnct; 

ia pri'lty fv,-n, lli-iuub ill iioli-lii'.l and wrnlolioil. Ill (■'•ii 

.vi-x fiid'acc lull 

not iKt-n irn.iinil, nr nn a ^|.ll<.■ri<.■al rumiivu .lis. 

', l.ut ha>i U.-n 

riu>hi..r.,-.i <m B l»l.iilarv'i. "I..-.-1. -r l.v ...m« lho,l oiuallv m 

-!.■. Tl»-.'..i»..x 

■i'l.^ ii toU-rnMr wdl i-]i.Eiu<l, »ii>l tiiMii;.'h uii.-v.-ti frum ihv it 

K..I.- in w I> it 

bu l-<'Ti [..roun'l. it ci>'''> " tiiK'ralily il>.>titii-t liH'ii", ul lli< 

.- .lir-IiiiKV ..r 4] 

inrbe* from llie pUnu ».U-. There arc iIkxiI t»<'lvf [atilifs 

in llio k'tis (lint 

baie U-cn opLnul duritig tbc pruccM of grinding it ; lliuic oa 

>ili^.^ ,loublk--.a. 


It was buried beneath a heap of fragments of beautiful blue opaque 
glass, apparently the enamel of some object in ivory or wood, 
which had perished, 

In the further corner of the chamber, to the left hand, atood 
the royal throne. Although it was utterly impossible, from the 
complete state of decay of the materisils, to preserve any part of 
it entire, I was able, by carefully removing the earth, to ascertain 
that it resembled in shape the chair of state of the king, as 
seen in the sculptures of Kouyunjik and Khorsabad, and par- 
ticularly that represented in the baa-relief already described, of 
Sennacherib receiving the captives and spoil, after the conquest 
of the city of Lochish.* With the exception of the legs, which 
appear to have been partly of ivory, it was of wood, cosed or 
overlaid with bronze, ae the throne of Solomon was of ivory. 

overlaid with gold.f The metal was most elaborately engraved 
and embossed with symbolical figures and ornaments, like those 

conlaineil eitlier naphiha, or the same fluid wliicli is discovered in lopazi 
quartz, and otlier minerals. As tlie lens does not show tlie polarised r»js 
at great obliquities, its plnne surface must be greatly inclino<i to tlie axis of 
tlie hexaponal prism of quartz from which it must have been taken. It is 
obvious, from the ^bape and rude cutting of the lens, that it could not have 
been intcmJeil U9 nn ornament ; we are entit1e<l, therefore, to consider it aa 
intended to be used as a lens, either for niagniiying, or for concentrating the 
rays nf the sun, which it does, however, very imperfectly." 

' See p. 150. 

t 1 icings, X. 18. Tliis is a highly interesting illustration of the work in 
Solomon's palaces. The earliest use of metal amongst the Greeks appears also to 
have been as a casing to wooden objects. 

Cup. Tin.] THE BOTAT. THBONE 199 

embroidered on the robes of the early Nimroud king, such aa 
winged deities strutting with griffins, mythic animals, men be- 
fore the sacred tree, and the winged lion and bull, Aa the wood- 
work over which the bronze was fastened by means of small naits 
of the same material, had rotted away, the throne fell to pieces, 
but the metal casing was partly preserved. Numerous fragments 
of it are now in the British Museum, including the joints of 
the arms, and legs ; the rams' or bulla' heads, which adorned 
the end of the arms (some still retaining the clay and bitumen 

with the impression of the cnrvini, showing the substance upon 

which the embossing Imd been hammered out), and the orna- 

mentttl scroll-work of the cross- liars, in the form of the Ionic 

volute. The legs were adorned with lion's paws resting on a 

pin& shaped ornament, like the thrones of the Inter Assyrian 

8culj)turc8*, and stood on a bronze base. A rod with loose 

rin^s, to which was once hung cinbroidcrctl 

^^Jg^S drap ry, or some rich Ptuff, apjwars to have 

■^V^V A belonged to the l)iick of the chair, or to a 

^^^^ J^^B f'^'n><^'^^'<"'k raised above or behind it, tlioti^h 

^^^^jkg^ D"^ ^ think, aa conjectured, to a curtain con- 

^^^^B^ ccnliiig the monarch from those who approached 

H^g liini.t 

^^^^^^F In front of the tlirone was the fiK)t-sto<)l, 

also of woimI overlaid with embossed metal, 

and ailiirned with the heads of ram or bulls. 

The feet ended in lion's paws and pine cones, like lliosc of the 

• [ »i.rT I.hI, afu-T imuli tr.>ii1,l,>. in riii.vln- a.i.i psi-kin- lw.> onla-M; li-g^; 

■ fuih-n lo ,,,. 

LT, ncruMcmcl tn ponoi-nl iIu-t 

t..ry ..■ 

t Thai KasItTii iiiniiarolu wcri', lu'Wi-viT, 

ncrujilrimc-.l tn ponot-nl ll 

W •■■me -U'-h ronlrivanrai from th.-ir iiiil>j< 

itK wc kmiir frmii llie 

IWni-.. {H.f*l. i. V'J.) It hai liei-n vi<n r 

'<inj>vliin.->l tliKt till' II>-b 

t.,T ■ ll.r.,n« i[.r.-n > vcil,.l ,.-M. Th.- .\-m ri 

nil kin;;", if we mnv jiiil(r« 

ll laoTV frvdy wilh Ihi-ir > 


throne. The two pieces of fumitare may have been placed together 
in a temple as an ofFering to the gods, as Midas placed bia throne 
in the temple of Delphi.* The ornaments on them were bo purely 
Assyrian, that there can be little doubt of their having been ex- 
pressly made for the Assyrian king, and not having been the spoil 
of some foreign nation. 

Near the throne, and leaning against the mouth of the well, 
was a circular band of bronze, 2 feet, 4 inches in diameter, 
studded with nails. It appears to liave been the metal casing of a 
wheel, or of some object of wood. 

Such, with an ttlabaeter jar f, and a few other objects in metal, 
were the relics found in the newly-opened room. After the 
examination I had made of the building during my former excava- 
tions, this accidental discovery proves that other treasures may 
dtill exist in the mound of Nimroud, and increases my regret 
that means were not at my command to remove the rubbish from 
the centre of the other chambers in the palace. 

* Herod, i. 14. I need ecarcelj remind the reader of the frequent mention, 
in aneient historUna, of thrones and coucbes ornamented with metal leg* in 
the shape of the feet of anlmala. 

t After my departure from Assyria, a similar alabaster jar was discovered 
in an adjoining cliamber. Colonel Rawlinson states that the remains of preserves 
were found in it, and hence conjectures tiiat the room in nhii;h the bronze 
objects described in this chapter were founil, was a kitchen. There is nothing, 
however, to show that this was the case, even if the contents of the jar are 
such as Colonel Rawlinaon supposes them to be. It is much more probable, 
that it was a rcpositor; for the rojal arms and sacrificial vessels. 

Ity llic 28th of Januarj-, the colosnU linns forming tlic portal to 
the prent hall in the north-west jmlacc of Niinroud were reaily to 
be ilnijiued to the river-bank. The walls and tlieir sculjitiircd 
IKinellin^ had been removed from both fidea of them, and they 
M'hmI ip«olaled in the midnt of the ruin:'. We nwlc one calm cloiid- 
Icwt nipht to the mound, to Ioi)lc on tlioin for the last lime before 
they were taken from their old re«ting-jdncc8. The moon was nt 
her full, nnd oa we drew nigh to the edge of the deep wall of 
fiirth riding around ihcm, hir soft light was crcoijing over the 
Mvm fenlures of the liumnn heiide, nnd driving before it the dark 
shadows which still clothed the lion forme. One by one (he limbs 


of the gigantic sphinxes emerged from the gloom, until the mon- 
sters were unveiled before us. I shall never forget that night, or 
the emotions which those venerable figures caused within me. A 
few hours more and they were to stand no longer where they had 
stood unscathed amidst the wreck of man and his works for ages. 
It seemed almost sacrilege to tear them from their old haunts to 
make them a mere wonder-stock to the busy crowd of a new world. 
Tliey were better suited to the desolation around them ; for they 
had guarded the palace in its glory, and it was for them to watch 
over it in its ruin. Sheikh Abd-ur-Rahman, who had ridden with 
us to the mound, was troubled with no such reflections. He gazed 
listlessly at the grim images, wondered at the folly of the Franks, 
thought the night cold, and turned his mare towards his tents. We 
scarcely heeded his going, but stood speechless in the deserted 
portal, until the shadows again began to creep over its hoary 

Beyond the ruined palaces a scene scarcely less solemn awaited 
us. I had sent a party of Jebours to the bitumen springs, out- 
side the walls to the east of the inclosure. The Arabs having 
lighted a small fire with brushwood awaited our coming to throw 
the burning sticks upon the pitchy pools. A thick heavy smoke, 
such as rose from the jar on the seashore when the fisherman had 
broken the seal of Solomon, rolled upwards in curling volumes, 
hiding the light of the moon, and spreading wide over the sky. 
Tongues of flame and jets of gas, driven from the burning pit, shot 
through the murky canopy. As the fire brightened, a thousand 
fantastic forms of light played amidst the smoke. To break the 
cindered crust, and to bring fresh slime to the surface, the Arabs 
threw Ijirge stones into the springs ; a new volume of fire then 
burst forth, throwing a deep red glare upon the figures and upon 
the landscape. The Jebours danced round the burning pools, like 
demons in some midnight orgie, shouting their war-cry, and bran- 
dishing their glittering arms. In an hour the bitumen was ex- 
hausted for the time*, the dense smoke gradually died away, and 
the pale light of the moon again shone over the black slime pits. 

The colossal lions were moved by still simpler and ruder means 
than those adopted on ray first expedition. They were tilted over 
upon loose earth heaped behind them, their too rapid descent being 
checked by a hawser, which was afterwards replaced by props 
of wood and stone. They were then lowered, by levers and 

* In a few hours the pits are sufficiently filled to take fire again. 


jackscrewe, upon the cart brought under thera. A road paved with 
flat stones had been made to the edge of the mound, and the 
sculpture was, without difficulty, dragged from the trenches. 

Beneath the lions, embedded lii earth and bitumen, were a few 
bones, which, on exposure to the air, fell to dust before I could 
ascertain whether they were human or not. The sculptures rested 
simply upon the platform of sun-dried bricks without any other 
sub-structure, a mere layer of bitumen, about an inch thick, 
having been placed under the plinth. 

Owing to recent heavy rains, which had left in many places deep 
swamps, we experienced much difficulty in dragging the cart over 
the plain to the river side. Three days were spent in transport- 
ing each lion. The men of Naifa and Nimroud again came to 
our help, and the Abou-Salman horsemen, with Sheikh Abd-ur- 
Bahman at their head, encouraged us by their presence. The 
unwieldly mass was propelled from behind by enormous levers of 
jK)plar wood ; and in the costumes of those who worked, as well as 
in the means adopted to move the colossal sculptures, except that 
we used a wheeled cart instead of a sledge, the procession closely 
resembled that which in days of yore transported the same great 
figures, and which we see so graphically represented on the walls 
of Kouyunjik.* As they had been brought so were they taken 


It was ncccssarv to humor and excite the Arabs to induce them 
to persevere in the arduous work of dragging the cart through the 
deep soft soil into which it continually sank. At one time, after 
many vain eflorts to move the buried wheels, it was unanimously 
declared that Mr. Cooper, the artist, brought ill luck, and no one 
would work until he retired. The cuuil)rous machine cre[)t on- 
wardrf for a few more yards, l)ut again all exertions were fruitless. 
Then the Frank lady would bring good fortune if she sat on the 
sculpture. The wheels rolKd heavily along, but were soon clogged 
onee more in the yiehling soil. An evil eye surely lurked among the 
w<»rkmen or the bystanders. Search was quickly made, and one 
having Won detected u[)on whom this curse had alighted, he was 
ignominiously driven away with shouts and execrations. This im- 
jH*<liin^nt having been removed, the cart drew nearer to the vilhi'^ro, 
but rMK^n again came to a standstill. All the Sheikhs were now 
^unuiiarily degnided from their rank and honors, and a weak ragged 
b*»y having been dressed up in tawdry kerchiefs, and invested with 

• Sec wocnlcut, p. 111. 


a cloak, was pronounced by Hormuzd to be the only fit chief for 
such puny men. The cart moved forwards, until the ropes gave 
way, under the new excitement caused by this reflection upon the 
character of the Arabs. When that had subsided, and the presence 
of the youthful Sheikh no longer encouraged his subjects, he was 
as summarily deposed as he had been elected, and a greybeard of 
ninety was raised to the dignity in his stead. He had his turn ; 
then the most unpopular of the Sheikhs were compelled to lie down 
on the ground, that the groaning wheels might pass over them, like 
the car of Juggernaut over its votaries. With yells, shrieks, and 
wild antics the cart was drawn within a few inches of the prostrate 
men. As a last resource I seized a rope myself, and with shouts 
of defiance between the different tribes, who were divided into 
separate parties and pulled against each other, and amidst the 
deafening tahlel of the women, the lion was at length foirly brought 
to the water's edge. 

The winter rains had not yet swelled the waters of the river so 
as to enable a raft bearing a very heavy cargo to float with safety 
to Baghdad. It was not until the month of April, after I had left 
Mosul on my journey to the Khabour, that the floods, from the 
melting of the snows in the higher mountains of Kurdistan, swept 
down the valley of the Tigris. I was consequently obliged to 
confide the task of embarking the sculptures to Behnan, my prin- 
cipal overseer, a Mosuleean stonecutter of considerable skill and 
experience, Mr. Vice-consul Bassam kindly undertaking to super- 
intend the operation. Owing to extraordinary storms in the hills, 
the river rose suddenly and with unexampled rapidity. Mr. and 
Mrs. Bassam were at the time at Nimroud, and the raftmen had 
prepared the rafts to receive the lions. It was with difficulty 
that they escaped before the flood, from my house in the village to 
the top of the ruins. The Jaif was one vast sea, and a furious 
wind drove the waves against the foot of the mound. The Arabs 
had never seen a similar inundation, and before they could escape 
to the high land many persons were overwhelmed in the waters. 

When the flood had subsided, the lions on the river bank, though 
covered with mud and silt, were found uninjured. They were 
speedily placed on the rafts prepared for them, but unfortunately 
during the operation one of them, which had previously been 
cracked nearly across, separated into two parts. Both sculptures 
were doomed to misfortune. Some person, uncovering the other 
during the night, broke the nose. I was unable to discover the 


author of this wanton mischief. He was probably a stranger, who 
had some feud with the Arabs working in the excavations.* 

The rafts reached Baghdad in safety. After receiving the neces- 
sary repairs they floated onwards to Busrah. The waters of the 
Tigris throughout its course had risen far above their usual level. 
The embankments, long neglected by the Turkish government, had 
given way, and the river, bursting from its bed, spread itself over the 
surrounding country in vast lakes and marshes. One of the rafts 
was dragged into a vortex which swept through a sluice newly 
opened in the crumbling bank. Notwithstanding the exertions of 
the raftmen, aided by the crew of a boat that accompanied them, 
it was carried far into the interior, and left in the middle of a 
swamp, about a mile from the stream. The other raft fortunately 
escaped, and reached Busrah without accident. 

For some time the stranded raft was given up for lost. Fortu- 
nately it bore the broken lion, or its recovery had probably been 
impossible. Captain Jones, with his usual skill and intrepidity, 
took his steamer over the ruined embankment, and into the unex- 
plored morass. After great exertion, under a burning sun in the 
midst of summer, he succeeded in placing the two parts of the 
sculpture on large boats, provided for the purpose, and in conveying 
them to their destinat ion. t 

During my hasty visit in the autumn to Bavian, I had been 
unable either to examine the rock- tablets with sufficient care, or to 
copy the inscriptions. The lions having been moved, I seized the 
first leisure moment to return to those remarkable monuments. 

Cawal Yusuf having invited me to the marriage of his niece at 
Baashickhah, we left Ximroud early in the morning for that village, 
striking across the country through Tel Yakoub, Karakosh (a large 
village inhabited by Catholic Chalda»ans, and having several 
churches), and BartoUi. We were met at some distance from 
Baashickhah by the Cawal, followed by the principal inhabitants 
on horseback, and by a large concourse of jKJople on foot, accompa- 
nied by music, and by children bringing lambs as offerings. It 
was already the second day of the marriage. On the previous 
day the parties had entered into the contract before the usual 

* I^ith sculptures have, however, been completely restored in the British 

t Tht'iM.* mccidents, and even still more the carelessness afterwards shown 
in bnn;;ing them to this country, have much injureil thesi* 6ne s|)ecimens of 
Assyrian sculpture, which now stand in a great hall of the British Museum. 


witnesses, amidst rejoicings and dances. After our arrival, the 
bride was led to the house of the bridegroom, surrounded by the 
inhabitants, dressed in their gayest robes, and by the Cawals play- 
ing on their instruments of music. She was covered from head 
to foot by a thick veil, and was kept behind a curtain in the 
corner of a darkened room. Here she remained until the guests 
had feasted three days, after which the bridegroom was allowed to 
approach her. 

The courtyard of the house was filled with dancers, and during 
the day and the greater part of the night nothing was heard but 
the loud signs of rejoicing of the women, and the noise of the 
drum and the pipe. 

On the third day the bridegroom was sought early in the morn- 
ing, and led in triumph by his i'riends from house to house, re- 
ceiving at each a trifling present. He was then placed within a 
circle of dancers, and the guests and bystanders, wetting small 
coins, stuck them on his forehead.* The money was collected as 
it fell, in an open kerchief held by his companions under his chin. 

After this ceremony a party of young men, who hud attached 
themselves to the bridegroom, rushed into the crowd, and carry- 
ing off the most wealthy of the guests locked them up in a 
dark room until they consented to pay a ransom for their release. 
This violence and restraint were cheerfully submitted to, and the 
money thus collected was added to the dowry of the newly married 
couple. There was feasting during the rest of the day, with raki- 
drinking and music, and the usual accompaniments of an Eastern 

Leaving the revellers I rode to Baazani with Cawal Yusuf, 
Sheikh Jindi (the stern leader of the religious ceremonies at Sheikh 
Adi), and a few Yezidi notables, to examine the rocky valleys be- 
hind the village. I once more searched in vain for some traces of 
ancient quarries from whence the Assyrians might have obtained 
the slabs used in their buildings. At the entrance of one of the 
deep ravines, which runs into the Gebel Makloub, a clear spring 
gushes from a grotto in the hill-side. Tradition says that this is the 
cave of the Seven Sleepers and their Dog, and the Yezidis have 
made the spot a ziarehy or place of pilgrimage. f 

* This custom of sticking coins to the forehead of a bridegroom is common 
to several races of the East, amongst others to the Turcomans, who inhabit the 
villages round Mosul. 

I No tradition is more generally current in the East than the well known 

Chap. IX.] TUB RIVER GOMEL. 207 

In the sides of the same ravine are numerous excavated sepul- 
chral chambers, with recesses or troughs in them for the recep- 
tion of the dead, such as I have so frequently had occasion to 

Our road from Baashiekhah to Bavian lay across the rocky range 
of the Gebel Makloub. We found it difficult and precipitous, on 
the western face and scarcely practicable to laden beasts ; on the 
eastern, it sank gradually into a broad plain. We passed the vil- 
lage of Giri Mohammed Araba, built near an artificial mound of 
considerable size. Similar mounds are scattered here and there 
over the flat country, and under almost every one is a Kurdish or 
Arab hamlet. 

A ride of seven hours brought us to the foot of the higher lime- 
stone range, and to the mouth of the ravine containing the rock- 
sculpturQS. Bavian is a mere Kurdish hamlet of five or six 
miserable huts on the left bank of the Ghazir. We stopped at 
the larger village of Khinnis ; the two being scarcely half a mile 
apart the place is usually called " Khinnis-Bavian." The Arab 
{)opulation ceases with the plains, the villages in the hills being 
inhabited by Kurds, and included in the district of Missouri. Ad- 
joining Khinnis is the Yezidi district of Sheikhan. 

The rock-sculptures of Bavian are the most imiK)rtant that have 
vet been di:»covcred in Assyria.* They are carved in relief on the 
H<le of a narrow, rorky ravine, on the right bank of the Gomel, a 
bniwlin^ mountain torrent i!*suing from the Missouri hills, and one of 
the principal feeilors of the small river (ihazir, the ancient Bumadus. 
The Gomel or G our* hi may, perhaps, be traced in the ancient 
name i)f Cian;ramelat, celebrated for that great victory which gave 
to the Macedonian con(|ueror the dominion of the Eastern world. 

^t<^rv <»t' the Seven Slee|)er:* ami tlieirDo;:. There is scureely a (li^t^iet without 
the nri;:iiiul cave in which the )ouih.'* were concealed duriiij^ iheir niiruculous 

• Ih.v w.Te first vi^ite•l hy the Lite M. Kouet, French con?ul at Mosul. 
In my Nine\eh and its Ueniains, vol. ii. p. 142. note, will he fimiul a >hort 
de*rrij.tinn of' the *4-ulpture!» l»y my lrien<l Mr. Koss. These arc the nn-k- 
talilcts ^hich have U-tn recently de>criU*<l in the French pajKTs, a» a new 
tlj»<Mverv hv M., and a» containing a series of iM.rtraits of the Assyrian 

kin;:s ! 

t In •••me MSS. «>f (^tiintus Curtlu^ the BumaduA or (ihazir is calle«l the 
•* Jiumrliu" whirh woidd nnt Ik* far from the nKnlern name of the upper 
liraixh of the river. It will, of course, Iw remembered, that (iau};amela, ac- 
cHinlin;* to ancient hi^tt'rian*, iii^nlfi«*!i **a camel," as derived pn»bahl^ from 
GVmc/, the Semitic word for that animal. 


Although the battlefield was called after Arbela^ a neighbouring 
city, we know that the river Zab intervened between them, and 
that the battle was fought near the village of Gaugamela, on the 
banks of the Bumadus or Ghazir, the Gomela of the Kurds. It is 
remarkable that tradition has not preserved any record of the pre- 
cise scene of an event which so materially affected the destinies 
of the East. The history of this great battle is unknown to the 
present inhabitants of the country ; nor does any local name, ex- 
cept perhaps that which I have pointed out, serve to connect it 
with these plains. The village, which once stood near the mound 
of Nimroud, was, indeed, said to have been called Dariousha, 
after the Persian monarch, who slept there on the night preceding 
the defeat that deprived him of his empire.* Some have fancied a 
similarity between the name of Gaugamela and that of the modern 
village of Karamless. The battlefield was probably in the neigh- 
bourhood of Tel Aswad, or between it and the junction of the 
Ghazir with the Zab, on the direct line of march to the fords of 
that river. We had undoubtedly crossed the very spot during 
our ride to Bavian. The whole of the countrv between the Mak- 
loub range and the Tigris is equally well suited to the operations 
of mighty armies, but from the scanty topographical details given 
by the historians of Alexander we are unable to identify the exact 
place of his victory. It is curious that hitherto no remains or re- 
lics have been turned up by the plough which would serve to mark 
the precise site of so great a battle as that of Arbela. 

The principal rock-tablet at Bavian contains four figures, sculp- 
tured in relief upon the smoothed face of a limestone cliff, rising 
perpendicularly from the bed of the torrent. They are inclosed 
by a kind of frame 28 feet high by 30 feet wide, and are protected 
by an overhanging cornic/e from the water which trickles down 
the face of the precipice. Two deities, facing each other, are re- 
presented, as they frequently are on monuments and relics of the 
same period, standing on mythic animals resembling dogs. They 
wear the high square head-dress, with horns uniting in front, pecu- 
liar to the human-headed bulls of the later Assyrian palaces. One 
holds in the left hand a kind of staff surmounted by the sacred tree. 
To the centre of this staff is attached a ring encircling a figure, 

* I never heard any similar tradition from the people of the country. 
According to the Shemutti, who inhabit the new village the name was Dara- 
wish, t. e, the place of Dervishes. It belonged to Turcomans, who mostly 
died of the plague, the remainder migrating to Selamijah. 


probably that of the king. The other hand is stretched forth to- 
wards the opposite god, who carries a similar staff, and grasps in 
the right hand an object which is too much injured to he ac- 
curately described.* These two figures may represent but one 
and the same great tutelary deity of the Assyrians, as the two kings 
who stand in act of adoration before them are undoubtedly but 
one and the same king. The monarch, thus doubly portrayed, 
is behind the god. He raises one hand, and holds in the other 
the sacred mace, ending in a ball. His dress resembles that of 
the builder of the Kouyunjik palace, Sennacherib, with whom the 
inscriptions I shall presently describe, identify him. The peak 
projecting from the conical royal tiara is longer and more pointed 
than usual. The ornaments of the costumes of the four fiorures are 
rich and elaborate. The sword-scabbards end in lions, and the 
earrings are peculiarly elegant in design. Sesting on the cornice 
above the sculptures, and facing the ravine, are the remains of two 
crouching sphinxes, probably similar in form to those at the 
grand entrance to the south-west palace of Nimroud.f Behind 
them is a narrow recess or platform in the rock. 

This bas-relief has suffered greatly from the effects of the at- 
mosphere, and in many parts the details can no longer be dis- 
tinguished. But they have been still more injured by those 
who occupied the country after the fall of the As^^yrian empire. 
Strangers, having no reverence for the records or sacred monu- 
ments of those wlio went before ihcm, excavated in the rcady- 
scaq>ed rocks the sei)ulchral chambers of their dcad.J In this great 

• Si.»c Monuments of Xincvoh, 2in\ series, Plate 51. for an illustration of tliese 

t Nineveh an<l its Remains, vol. i. p. S4J). 

J It is evident that these toujbs arc not of the Assyrian epoch, supposing 
even the Assyrians to have pl&ce<l their dead in chambers excavated in the 
rwk-*. I have never met with r<K*k-toml>s which could he referred with any 
certainty to that peri«Ml. In a bas-relief discoveretl at Khorsabad one writer 
(Hon<»mi, Nineveh and its Palaces, p. \{iG.) detects the represent at i(m of such 
cxcavatiiins in a rock on which stands a castle; but 1 Iwlieve that houses are 
meant, as in a similar subji'ct from Kouyunjik (see 2nd Series of Monuments 
of NifH'veh, Plat*' .'JD. ). It is evitlent that these sup|>ostMl rock-tombs cannot 
in«lirate the sepuhdires of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which are of a very 
diffon-nt fn'riod, nor, as the same writer has inferre<l, the city of JerusaleuK 
The Jews, as well iis other nations of antiquity, were, however, accustomed to 
make such nxk-chamlH'rs for their dead, as we learn from Isaiah, xxii. H>. 
^ What liAAt thou here ? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast h(>wed thee 
out A N>pul('hre here, as he that heweth him out a Sfjmlchre on hi^h^ and that 
grareth an habitation for himself in a rock 'f ** 




[Cup. IX. 

tablet there are four such tombs. Two have been cut between 
the figures of the god, and have spnred the sculptures. The 
others have destroyed the head of one king and a part of the 
robes of the opposite figure. The entrances to the two largest 
were once ornamented with columns, which have been broken away. 
Kound the walls of these excavated chambers are the usual troughs 
for the bodies of the dead. I entered the tombs by means of a 
rope lowered from above by a party of Kurds. They were empty, 
their contents having, of course, been long before carried away, or 

To the left of this great bas-relief, and nearer the mouth of the 
ravine, is a second tablet 
containing a horseman at 
full speed, and the re- 
mains of other figures. 
Both horse and rider, are 
of colossal proportions, 
and remarkable for the 
spirit of the outline. The 
warrior wears the Assy- 
rian pointed helmet, and 
couches a long ponder> 
ous spear, as in the act 
of charging the enemy. 
Before him is a colossal 
figure of the king, and behind him a deity with the homed cap ; 
above his head a row of smaller figures of gods standing on animals 
of various forms, as in tlie rock-sculptures of Matthaiyah. 

This fine bas-relief has, unfortunately, sufTered even more than 
the other monuments from the effects of the atmoBphere, and would 
easily escape notice without an acquaintance with its position. 

Scattered over the cliff, on each side of the principal bas- 
reliefs, are eleven small tablets, some easily accessible, others so 
high up on the face of the precipice, that they are scarcely seen 
from below. One is on a level with the bed of the stream, and 
was, indeed, almost covered by the mud deposit of the floods. Each 
arched recess, for they are cut into the rock, contains a figure 
of the king, as at the Nahr-el-Kelb, near Beyrout in Syria*, 

* I e^uiiniDed tlie remarkable tablets at tbe Nabr-el-Kelb, on my return to 
Europe in 1851. Tfaey were sculptured, as I staled in mr first work, b^ 
Sennacberib, the king of tbe Baviau monuments. Tbe only inscription panlj 


5 feet 6 inches high. Above hia head are the sacred symbols, 
arranged in four dietiact groups. The first group consists of three 
tiarae, like those nrom by the gods nnd human-headed bulls, and 
of a kind of altar on which stands a staff ending in the head of a 
ram ; the second of a crescent and of the winged disk, or globe ; 
the third of a pedestal, on which are a trident and three staifs, one 
topped by a cone, another without ornament, and the last ending 
in two bulls' heads turned in opposite directions; and the fourth 
of a Maltese cross (? symbolical of the sun) and the seven stare. 
Some of these symbols have reference, it would seem, to the astral 

worship of the Ai?fynans; whilst others, probably, represent in- 
strunicnis Ui*cd during sacrifices, or sacred c 

Across three of tticsc royal tablets are inscriptions. One can be 
rencheil from the foot of the cliU', the others, being on the higher 
sculptures, cannot be seen from belinv. They are all more or less 
■ njnrcd, but being very nearly, ivoi-d for word, the same, they can 
to some extent tic roatored. I was lowered by ropes to those on 
the face of the precipice, which are not otherwise accessible. 
Standing on a ledge scarcely six inches wide, overlooking a giddy 
dcjith, and in a cimslraincd and painful {>osition, I had some diffi- 
culty in copying them. The stupidity and clumsiness, moreover, 
of the Kurds, who hnd never aided in such proceedings before, 
rendered my ntleiupts to reach the sculptures somewhat dangerous. 

piTsenroii In tinfiirtun«tply w> much injured b9 to h»vo hilhi-rto iloficil tram- 

u[->i> > n-'k iirnr xl„- i.ioulh of ll.c- Xahr-^'l-K.'ll) rlicr. a<Ij<.bilig tl.rgt; Ki;}|>tiaD 
iiiM-ri)>li'>iii in<l liu-n-tii-fi with ihu nmiK' of It;ttiK-suB. 


The inscriptions, the longest of which contains sixty-three lines, 
are in many respects of considerable importance, and have been 
partly translated by Dr. Hincks. They commence with an invo- 
cation to Ashur and the great deities of Assyria, the names of 
only eleven of whom are legible, although probably the whole 
thirteen are enumerated, as on the monuments from Nimroud. 
Then follow the name and titles of Sennacherib, Next there is 
an account of various great works for irrigation undertaken by this 
king. From eighteen districts, or villages, he declares he dug eighteen 
canals to the Ussur or Khusur (?), in which he collected their waters. 
He also dug a canal, from the borders of the town or district of 
Kisri to Nineveh, and brought these waters through it ; he called 
it the canal of Sennacherib. No traces now remain, as far as I 
know, of such a canal, unless the bed of the Khauser (Ussur?) 
was deepened by this king, and other small streams of the surround- 
ing country led into it. Then the Ussur may mean the great ditch 
defending the inclosure of Kouyunjik to the east, through which 
the Khauser now flows. If such be the case, the canal, fed by the 
united streams, may have been intended for defence as well as for 
irrigation. Or else it may have been mainly derived from the Gomel 
or Ghazir, here called Ussur (?), and carried to some other part of 
the great city. We can then understand why the execution of 
this work was recorded on the rock-tablets near the source of the 
river. However, this part of the inscription has not yet been sa- 
tisfactorily interpreted, and may hereafter be found to contain de- 
tails which may help to identify the site of these artificial water- 

A long obscure passage precedes a very detailed account of the 
expedition to Babylon and Kar-Duniyas against Merodach-baladan, 
recorded under the first year of the annals on the Kouyunjik bulls.* 
After mentioning some canals which he had made in the south of 
Assyria, Sennacherib speaks of the army which defended the 
workmen being attacked by the king of Elam and the king of 
Babylon, with many kings of the hills and the plains who were 
their allies. He defeated them in the neighbourhood of Khalul 
(site undetermined). Many of the great people of the king of 
Elam and the son of the king of Kar-Duniyas were either killed or 
taken prisoners, while the kings themselves fled to their respective 
countries. Sennacherib then mentions his advance to Babylon, 
his conquest and plunder of it, and concludes with saying, that 
he brought back from that city the images of the gods which had 

♦ See p. 140. 

cbaf.ix.] scdlftubes at b AVI an. 213 

been taken by Merodaeh-^idakhe (?), the king of Mesopotamia, 
from Assyria 418 years before, and put them in their places. A 
name imperfectly deciphered is given as that of the king of Assyria 
of that day. Dr. Hincks would read it Shimishti-Pal-Bithkira, but 
admits that the last element in particular is very doubtful. The 
same name is found in the inscriptions of Nimroud, as that of a 
predecessor of the builder of the north-west palace, as also in an 
inscription of the time of Tiglath Pilesar or PuL In this place 
the earlier king is probably intended. Sennacherib, after his vic- 
tory, appears to have transported the inhabitants of Babylon to 
Arakhti (? the river Araxes), but the whole passage is doubtful, 
owing to some important words being destroyed in the three 

After \m ?etam from this expedition ^' at the mouth (?) of the 
river be had dug he set up six tablets, and beside them he put up 
they«// length (?) images of the great gods." 

Now, the importance of this inscription, presuming it to be cor- 
rectly interpreted, will at once be perceived, for it proves almost 
beyond a doubt, that at that remote period the Assyrians kept an 
exact computation of time^ We may consequently hope that 
sooner or later chronological tables may be discovered, which will 
furnish us with minute and accurate information as to the precise 
epoch of the occurrence of various important events in Assy- 
rian history. It \^y indeed, remarkable that Sennacherib should 
mark so exactly the year of the carry in*^ away of tlie Assyrian 
gods. This very dute enables us, as will hereafter be seen, to re- 
store much of the chronology, and to place, almost with cerUiinty, 
in the dynastic lists, a king whose position was before unknown. 

We find also that the greater part, if not the whole, of the 
rock-sculptures were executed cither at the end of the first, or at 
the beginning of the second, year of the reign of Sennacherib. 
As he particularly describes six tablets, it is probable that the 
others were added at some future period, and after some fresh vic- 
tory. The mention, too, of the transportation of the inhabitants 
of Babylon to so remote a locality as the Araxes is highly inter 
estiug, and, if the translation of the passage may be relied on, we 
may {lerhaps trace in these colonics the origin of those Chalda^an 
trilws which Xenophou and Strabo describe as still, in their time, 
inhabiting the same region. When the whole inscription is re- 
stored we shall probably obtain many other im[>ortant details which 
are wanting in the annals of Kouyunjik, and in the records of 
the same i>eriod. 

r 3 


Beneath the Bculptured tablets, and in the bed of the Gomel, 
are two enormous fragments of rock, which appear to have been 

torn from the overhanging cliff, and to have been hurled by some 
mighty convuluion of nature into the torrent below. The pent 
up waters eddy round them in deep and dangerous whirlpools, 
and when Bwollen by the winter rains sweep completely over 
them.* They still bear the remuns of sculpture. One has 
been broken by the fall into two pieces. On them is the As- 
syrian Hercules strangling the lion between two winged human- 
headed bulls, back to back, as at the grand entrances of the 
palaces of Kouyunjik and Khorsabad.f Above this group is the 
king, worshipping between two deities, who stand on mythic ani- 
mals, having the heads of eagles, the bodies and fore feet of lions, 
and hind legs armed with the talons of a bird of prey. The height 
of the whole sculpture is 24 feet, that of the winged bull 8 ft. 6 in. 

* It was at thia spot ihst Mr. Bell, the jnutbrul artist sent out b; the Tnu- 
teea of the British Museum, was unfortunate] j drowned when bathing, in the 
month of Julj, 1S5I, ahortl; after my departure from Mosul. 

t See woodcut, p. 138, 

Cmu'. IX] 



Near the entrance to the ravine the face of the cliff has been 
■craped for sooie yards to the level of the bed of the torrent A 
party of Kurds were hired to excavate at this spot, as well a8 in 
other partB of the narrow valley. Remains and foundations of 
buildings in well-hewn stone were discovered under the thick mud 
deposited by the Gomel when swollen by rains. Higher up the 
gorge, on removing the earth, I found a series of basins cut in the 

ri>ck, and dusccmling in 9tc])3 to the stream. The water had origi- 
nally been led fVum one to the oilier through siiiuU conduits, the 
li)W(.-i-t of which was ornamented at Its month with two rampant 
lio?!.-" in relief. These outlets were choked up, but we cleared them, 
and by j>ouring water into the upper bnsin restored the fountain i\i 
it bail \wfn in the time of the Assyrians, 

Friini the nature and number of the monuments at Itavian, it 
would seem that this ravine was a sncred 8|Mjt, devoted to religious 
ceremonies and to national saerlfices. When the buildings, wlioee 
remains still cxiKt, were u^d fur these [>ur|iuses, the waters must 
have bvea |)cnt up lictwccn (juays or embankments. They now 


occasionally spread over the bottom of the valley, leaving no path- 
way at the foot of the lofty cliffs. The remains of a well-built 
raised causeway of stone, leading to Bavian from the city of Nine- 
veh, may still be traced across the plain to the east of the Gebel 

The place, from Its picturesque beauty and Its cool refreshing 
shade even in the hottest day of summer, is a grateful retreat, well 
suited to devotion and to holy rites. The brawling stream almost 
fills the bed of the narrow ravine with its clear and limpid waters. 
The beetling cliffs rise abruptly on each side, and above them tower 
the wooded declivities of the Kurdish hills. As the valley opens 
into the plain, the sides of the limestone mountains are broken into 
a series of diatlQCt strata, and resemble a vast flight of steps lead- 
ing up to the high lands of central Asia. The banks of the tor- 
rent are clothed with shrubs and dwarf trees, amongst which are the 
green myrtle and the gay oleander, bending under the weight of 
its rosy blossoms. 

I remained two days at Bavian to copy the Inscriptions, and to 
explore the Assyrian remains. Hannah the overseer, with a party 
of poor Nestorians^ who, driven by want from the district of 
Tkhoma, chanced to pass through the valley, was left to clear 
away the earth from the lower monuments, and to excavate 
amongst the ruins. No remains were discovered ; and after work- 
ing for a few days without results, they came to MosuL 

Wishing to visit the Yezidi chiefs, I took the road to Ain Sifni, 
passing through two large Kurdish villages, Atrush and Om-es-sukr, 
and leaving the entrance to the valley of Sheikh Adi to the right. 
The district to the north-west of Khinnis is partly inhabited by a 
tribe professing peculiar religious tenets, and known by the name 
of Shabbak. Although strange and mysterious rites are, as usual, 
attributed to them, I suspect that they are simply the descendants 
of Kurds, who emigrated at some distant period from the Per- 
sian slopes of the mountains, and who still profess Sheeite doc- 
trines. They may, however, be tainted with Ali-IUahism.* Their 
chief, with whom I was acquainted, resides near Mosul. 

* A creed professed by several tribes in Kurdistan and Louristan, and by 
some of the inhabitants of the northern part of the Lebanon range in Syria. It 
consists mainly in the belief, that there have been successive incarnations of the 
Deity, the principal having been in the person of Ali, the celebrated son-in-law 
of the prophet Mohammed. The name usually given them, Ali-IUahi, means 
" believers that Ali is God." Various abominaUe rites have been attributed to 
them, as to the Yezidis, Ansyris, and all sects whose doctrines are not known to 
the surrounding Mussulman or Christian population. 




We passed the night in the village of Esseeyab, where Sheikh 
Xasr had recently built a dwelling-house. I occupied the same 
room with the Sheikh, Hussein Bey, nad a large body of Yezidi 
Cawals, and was lulled to sleep by an interminable tale, about the 
prophet Mohammed and a atork, which, when we had all lain down 
to rest) a Yezidi priest related with the same soporific effect upon 
the whole party. On the following day I hunted gazelles with 
Hossein Bey, and was his guest for the night at Baodri, returning 
next morning to Mosul. 



The mound of Kalah Sherghat having been very imperfectly 
examined during my former residence in Assyria*, I had made 
arrangements to return to the ruins. All my preparations were 
complete by the 22Dd of February, and I floated down the Tigris 
on a raft iaden with provisions and tools necesBary for at least a 
month's residence and work in the desert. I had expected to find 
Mohammed Seyyid, one of my Jebour Sheikhs, with a party of 
the Ajel, hia own particular tribe, ready to accompany me. The 
Bedouins, however, were moving to the north, and their horsemea 
had already been seen in the neighbourhood of Kalah Sherghat. 
Nothing would coneequeotly induce the Ajel, who were not on the 
best terms with the Shammar Arabs, to leave their tents, and, 
after much useless discussion, I was obliged to give up the 

Awad, with a party of Jehesh, had been for nearly six weeks 

* Ifineveh and iu Eenuuns, vol. ii. chap. 12. 

Chap. X.] TENTS OP THE HO WAR. 219 

exploring the mounds in the plan of Shomamok^ the country of the 
Tai Arabe, and had sent to tell me that he had found remains of 
buildings, vases, and inscribed bricks. I determined, therefore, to 
make use of the stores collected for the Kalah Sherghat expedi- 
tion bj spending a few days in inspecting his excavations, and in 
carefully examining those ruins which I had only hastily visited 
on my previous journey. I accordingly started from Nimroud on 
the 2nd of March, accompanied by Hormuzd, the doctor, and Mr. 
Rolland. We descended the Tigris to its junction with the Zab, 
whose waters, swollen by the melting of the snows in the Kurdish 
mountains, were no longer fordable. Near the confluence of the 
streams, and on the southern bank of the Zab, is the lofty mound 
of Keshaf. This artificial platform of earth and unbaked bricks 
rests upon a limestone rock, projecting abruptly from the soil. 
Its summit is crowned by a stone wall, with an arched gateway 
facing the south — the remains of a deserted fort, commanding the 
two rivers. It was garrisoned a few years ago by an officer and a 
company of irregular troops from Baghdad, who were able from 
this stronghold to check the inroads of the Bedouins, as well as 
of the Tai and other tribes, who plundered the Mosul villages. 
Since it has been abandoned, the country has again been exposed 
to the incursions of these marauders, who now cross the rivers 
unmolested, and lay waste the cultivated districts. I could find 
no relics of an early date, nor did subsequent excavations lead to 
their discovery. The mound is*, nevcrthcleiJS, most probably of 
A?j4yrian origin. From the remotest i)eriod the importance of the 
]M>sition, at the confluence of two great rivers, must have led to 
the erection of a castle on this spot. 

Tlie tents of the Ilowar were about five miles from Keshaf. 
Since my last vij^it, he had received his cloak of investiture as 
Sheikh from the Pasha of Kcrkouk*, and was once more the 
acknowledged chief of the Tai. Faras had, however, with- 
drawn from his rival, and, followed bv his own adherents, had 
moved to the banks of the Lesser Zab. The Shammar Be- 

• llic preat pu>l)alic of Haohdad, formerly one of the most important and 
Wealthy in the 'I'urkUh empire, and the first in rank, had re<rently been divided 
into -fvi-ral di.Htinet governments. It onee extended from Diarhekr to tho 
iN-r-ian (iulf, and was first curtailed alM)ut fifteen years jijijo, when Diarbekr 
and Mo!>ul were placed under inde|>cndent pachas. Lately it has been redueeil 
lo the di»tricts *urroun<ling the city, with the Arab trilws who encamp in the 
ri< i;!h!»<>urh(KMl ; Kcrkouk, Suleimaniyoh, and Busrah being formed into fteparato 
po\«'rnmiMit«. In this new division the Tai were included within the pashalic 
of Kcrkouk. 


douins^ encouraged by the division in the tribe, had, only three 
days before our vbit, crossed the Tigris and fallen suddenly 
upon the Kochers, or Kurdish wanderers, of the Herki clans. 
GHiese nomades descend annually from the highest mountain regions 
to winter in the rich meadows of Shomamok. They pay a small 
tribute to the Tai for permission to pasture their flocks, and for 
protection against the desert Arabs. The Howar was conse- 
quently bound to defend them, and had sent Saleh, with his 
horsemen, to meet the Shammar. They had been beaten, and had 
lost forty of their finest mares. The Kurds appear to have little 
courage when attacked by the Bedouins in the pl^ns, although 
they can oppose the rifle to the simple spear. A large number 
of them had been slain, and several thousand of their sheep and 
cattle had been driven across the Tigris. 

We found the Howar much cast down and vexed by his recent 
misfortunes. The chiefs of the tribe were with him, in gloomy 
consultation over their losses. A Bedouin, wrapped in his ragged 
cloak, was seated listlessly in the tent. He had been my guest 
the previous evening at NimroUd, and had announced himself on 
a mission from the Shammar to the Tai, to learn the breed of 
the marcs which had been taken in the late conflict. His mes- 
sage might appear, to those ignorant of the customs of the Arabs, 
one of insult and defiance. But he was on a common errand, and 
although there was blood between the tribes, his person was as 
sacred as that of an ambassador in any civilised comiSunity. 
Whenever a horse falls into the hands of an Arab, his first thought 
is how to ascertain its descent. If the owner be dbmounted in 
battle, or if he be even about to receive his death-blow from the 
spear of his enpmy, he will frequently exclaim, " O Fellan ! (such 
a one) the mare that fate has given to you, is of noble blood. 
She is of the breed of Saklawiyah and her dam is ridden by 
A waith, a sheikh of the Fedhan" (or as the case may be). Nor will 
a lie come from the mouth of a Bedouin as to the race of his mare. 
He is proud of her noble qualities, and will testify to them as he 
dies. After a battle or a foray, the tribes who have taken horses 
from the enemy will send an envoy to ask their breed, and a 
person so chosen passes from tent to tent unharmed, hearing from 
each man, as he eats his bread, the descent and qualities of the 
animal he may have lost. 

Amongst men who attach the highest value to the pure blood 
of their horses, and who have no written pedigree, for amongst 
the Bedouins documents of this kind do not exist, such cus^ 


tomB are necessary. The descent of a horse is preserved by 
tradition, and the birth of a colt is an event known to the whole 
tribe. If a townsman or stranger buy a horse, and is desirous of 
having written evidence of its race, the seller, with his friends, 
will come to the nearest town to testify before a person spe- 
cially qualified to take the evidence, called " the cadi of the 
horseSy" who makes out a written pedigree, accompanied by various 
prayers and formularies from the Koran used on such occasions, 
and then affixes to it his seal. It would be considered disgraceful 
to the character of a true Bedouin to give false testimony on 
such an occasion, and his word is usually received with implicit 

The morning following our arrival at the tents of the Howar 
was ushered in by a heavy rain. I thought this a good oppor- 
tunity of visiting the ruins of Mokhamour, as the Bedouins rarely 
leave their tents on plundering expeditions in wet weather. None 
of the Tai, however, would accompany me. They still dreaded 
the Shammar, and the Howar loudly protested against the rash- 
ness of venturing alone into the plains so recently overrun by the 
enemy. Awad professed to know the road, and accompanied by 
Hormuxd and Mr. K., I struck across the low hills under his 

These ruins, of which I had so frequently received exaggerated 
descriptions from the Arabs, arc in the deserted district between the 
Karacbok range and the river Tigris. The plains in which they 
arc situated are celebrated for the richness of their pastures, and 
arc sought in spring by the Tai and the Kurdish Kochers. Even 
as early as the tinie of our visit the face of the country is usually 
covered with their flocks and herds. But the dread of the Sham- 
mar had now scared them from the banks of the river, and they 
had migrated to the inland meadows, further removed from the 
forays of the Bedouins. From the tents of Ilowar, on the low un- 
dulating hills forming the northern spur of the Karachok, to 
Mokhamour, a distance of some fifteen miles, we did not see a 
sin;;le human being. 

We kept as much as possible in the broken country at the foot 
of the mountain to escajx; observation. The wooded banks of the 
Tigris and the white dome of the tomb of Sultan Alxlallah were 
faintly visible in the distance, and a few artificial mounds rose in 
the plains. The pastures were already fit for the flocks, and lux- 
uriant gnw»« furnished fixnl for our horses amidst the ruins. 

The principal mound of Mokliamour is of considerable height. 


and ends in a cone. It is apparently the remains of a platform 
built of earth and sun-dried bricks, originally divided into several 
distinct stages or terraces. On one side are the traces of an in- 
clined ascent, or of a flight of steps, once leading to the summit. 
It stands in the centre of a quadrangle of lower mounds, about 
480 paces square. I could find no remains of masonry, nor any 
fragments of inscribed bricks, pottery, or sculptured alabaster. 

The ruins are near the southern spur of Karachok, where that 
mountain, after falling suddenly into low broken hills, again rises 
into a solitary ridge, called Bismar, stretching to the Lesser Zab, 
Mokhamour being between the two rivers. These detached lime- 
stone ridges, running parallel to the great range of Kurdistan, 
such as the Makloub, Sinjar, Karachok, and Hamrin, are a pe- 
culiar feature in the geological structure of the country lying 
between the ancient province of Cilicia and the Persian Gulf. 
Hog-backed in form, they have an even and smooth outline when 
viewed from a distance, but are really rocky and rugged. Their 
sides are broken into innumerable ravines, producing a variety 
of purple shadows, ever changing and contrasting with the rich 
golden tint of the limestone, and rendering these solitary hills, 
when seen from the plain, objects of great interest and beauty.* 
They are, for the most part, but scantily wooded with a dwarf 
oak, and that only on the eastern slope ; their rocky sides are 
generally, even in spring, naked and bare of all vegetation. Few 
springs of fresh water being found in them, they are but thinly 
inhabited. In the spring months, when the rain has supplied 
natural reservoirs in the ravines, a few wandering Kurdish tribes 
pitch their tents in the most sheltered spots. 

Having examined the ruins, taken bearings of the principal land- 
marks, and allowed our horses to refresh themselves in the 
high grass, I returned to the encampment of the Tai. As we 
rode back we spied in the desert three horses, which had been 
probably left by the Bedouins in their retreat, and were now 
quietly grazing in the pastures. After many vain efforts we suc- 
ceeded in driving them before us, and on our arrival at the 

* I take this opportunity of mentioning:, with the praise it most fully deserves 
as a work of art, the Panorama of Nimroud, painted and exhibited by Mr. Bur- 
ford, in which the Karachok and Makloub are introduced. The tints produced 
by the setting sun on those hills are most faithfully portrayed, and the whole 
scene, considering the materials from which the artist worked, is a proof of 
his skill as a painter, and of his feeling for Eastern scenery. 

Chap.x.] buins of shomamok. 223 

tents I presented them in due form to the Howar^ who was re- 
warded, by this unexpected addition to his stud, for the alarm he 
declared he had felt for our safety during our absence. A ride 
of three hours next morning, across the spurs of the Karachok, 
brought us to the ruins of Abou-Jerdeh, near which we liad 
found the tents of Faras on our last visit. The mound is of con- 
siderable size, and on its summit are traces of foundations in stone 
masonry; but I could find no remains to connect it with the 
Assyrian period. The eastern base is washed by a small stream 
coming from the Kordereh. 

We breakfasted with our old host Wali Beg, and then con- 
tinued our journey to one of the principal artificial mounds of 
Shomamok, called the " Kasr," or palace. The pastures were 
covered with the flocks of the Arabs, the Kochers, and the Dis- 
dayi Kurds. A broad and deep valley, or rather gully, worn by 
a sluggish stream in the alluvial soil, crosses the plain. The 
stranger is not aware of its existence until he finds himself actually 
on the brink of the lofty precipices which hem it in on both sides. 
Then a long, narrow meadow of the brightest emerald green, 
studded with flocks and tents, opens beneath his feet. We crossed 
this valley, called the Kordereh, and encamped for the night at the 
foot of the Kasr, on the banks of a rivulet called As-surayji, which 
joins the Kordereh below Abou-Jerdeh, near a village named 
" Salain Aleik," or " Peace be with you." 

The mound is both large and lofty, and is surrounded by the 
remains of an earthen embankment. It is divided almost into 
two distinct equal parts by a ravine or watercourse, where an 
a:*ccnt probably once led from the plain to the edifice on the 
puiiunit of the platform. Above the ruins of the ancient buildinirs 
etixxl a nnxlern fort, generally garrisoned by troops belonging to 
tlie Mutc«<llim of Arl/iL It was afterwards inhabited by some 
families of the Jche^h trilx*, who were driven away by the ex- 
action* of the f:h'i*:it *ji the Tai. A wad had opened several deep 
trencher* and tunn^'ls in the mound, and had discovered chambers, 
t^>iui: with walL« of plain sundried bricks, others jmnelled round 
the lower \tan with slabs of reddish limestone, about 3^ or 4 
ffct hi^h. He had also found inscribed bricks, with inscriptions de- 
claring that Si*nnacherib had here built a city, or rather palace, for 

the name of which, written pf — *"^^l !> ^ C4innot suggest a reading. 

I obM.Tved a thin de])08it, or layer, of pebbles and rubble almvc 

tlic rctnains of the Asi*yrian building, and about eight feet beneath 


the surface, as at Kouyunjik. It may probably have been the floor- 
ing or foundation of some edifice of a more recent date raised above 
the buried palaces. I could discover no traces whatever of ala- 
baster in the ruins, although the material is common in the neigh- 
bourhood, nor could I find the smallest fragment of sculptured 
stone which might encourage a further search after bas-reliefs or 

From the summit of the Kasr of Shomamok I took bearings 


of twenty-five considerable mounds, the remains of ancient As* 
Syrian population*; the largest being in the direction of the 
Lesser Zab. Over the plain, too, were thickly scattered villages, 
surrounded by cultivated fields, and belonging to a tribe of Kurds 
called Disdayi, who move with their flocks and tents to the 
pastures during spring, and return to their huts in the summer to 
gather in the harvest and to till the soil. 

Wishing to examine several ruins in the neighbourhood I left 
our tents early on the following morning, and rode to the mound 
of Abd-ul-Azeez, about eight or nine miles distant, and on the 
road between Baghdad and Arbil. The latter town, with its 
castle perched upon a lofty artificial mound, all that remains of 
the ancient city of Arbela, which gave its name to one of the 
greatest battles the world ever saw, was visible during the greater 
part of our day's ride. The plain abounds in villages and canals 
for irrigation, supplied by the As-Surayji. When the land is too 
high to be watered by the usual open conduits, the villagers cut 
subterranean passages like the Persian Kanduks^ which are fre- 
quently at a considerable depth under ground, and are open 
to the air at certain regular distances by shafts sunk from above. 
The soil thus irrigated produces cotton, rice, tobacco, millet, 
melons, cucumbers, and a few vegetables. The jurisdiction of 
the Tai Sheikh ends at the Kasr ; the villages beyond are under 
the immediate control of the governor of Arbil, to whom they pay 
their taxes. The inhabitants complained loudly of oppression, and 
appeared to be an active, industrious race. Upon the banks of 
the Lesser Zab, below Altun Kupri (or Guntera, the " Bridge," 
as the Arabs call the place), encamp the Arab tribe of Abou- 
Hamdan, renowned for the beauty of its women. 

The mounds T examined, and particularly that of Abd-ul-Azeez, 
abound in sepulchral urns and in pottery, apparently not Assyrian. 

* The names of the principal are Tel-el-Barour, Abbas, Eadreeyah, Abd-ul- 
Azeez, Baghurtha, Elias Tuppeh, Torkheena, and Doghan. 


The most remarkable spot in the district of Shomamok is the 
Gla (an Arab corruption of Kalah), or the Castle, about two 
niiles distant from the Blasr. It is a natural elevation, left by 
the stream of the Kordereh, which has worn a deep channel in 
the soil, and dividing itself at this place into two branches forms 
an island, whose summit, but little increased by artificial means, 
is, therefore, nearly on a level with the top of the opposite pre- 
cipices. The valley may be in some places about a mile wide, in 
others only four or five hundred yards. The Gla is consequently 
a natural stronghold, above one hundred feet high, furnished on 
all sides with outworks, resembling the artificial embankments of a 
modem citadel. A few isolated mounds near it have the appear- 
ance of detached forts, and nature seems to have formed a com- 
plete system of fortification. I have rarely seen a more curious 

There are no remains of modern habitations on the summit of 
the Gla, which can only be ascended without difficulty from one 
side. Awad excavated by my directions in the mound, and dis- 
covered traces of Assyrian buildings, and several inscribed bricks, 
bearing the name of Sennacherib, and of a castle or palace, 

^JT^ V", which, like that on the bricks from the Kasr, I am unable 
to interpret. It is highly probable that a natural stronghold, 
so difficult of access, almost impregnable before the use of artillery, 
should have been chosen at a very early period for the site of a 
castle. Even at this day it might become a position of some im- 
portance, especially as a check upon the Arabs and Kurds, who 
occasionally lay waste these rich districts. Numerous valleys, 
worn by the torrents, descending from the Karachok hills, open 
into the Kordereh. They have all the same character, deep gul- 
Icys, rarely more than half a mile in width, confined between lofty 
p<Tf>endicular banks, and watered during summer by small sluggish 
rivulets. These sheltered spots furnish the best pastures, and are 
frequented by the Disdayi Kurds, whose flocks were already scat- 
teretl far and wide over their green meadows. 

From the Gla I crossed thcj)lain to the mound of Abou Shectha, 
in whii'h Awad had excavated for some time without making any 
discovery of interest. Near this ruin, i>erhaps at its very foot, 
niu^t have taken i)lace an event which led to one of the 
moft celebrated episodes of ancient history. Here were treache- 
rously seized Clearchus, Proxenus, Menon, Agias, and Socrates; 
an<l Xenophon, elected to the command of the (ireek auxiliaries, 
commenced the ever-memorable retreat of the Ten Thousand. The 



camp of Tissaphernes, dappled with its many-colored tents, and 
glittering with golden arms and silken standards, the gorgeous dis- 
play of Persian pomp, probably stood on the Kordereh, between 
Abou-Sheetha and the Kasr. The Greeks having taken the lower 
road, to the west of the Elarachok range, through a plain even then 
as now a desert*, turned to the east, and crossed the spur of the 
mountain, where we had recently seen the tents of the Howar, in 
order to reach the fords of the Zab. I have already pointed out 
the probability of their having forded that river above the junction 
of the Ghazir f, and to this day the ford to the east of Abou-Sheetha 
is the best, and that usually frequented by the Arabs. Still not 
openly molested by the Persians, the Greeks halted for three days 
on the banks of the stream, and Clearchus, to put an end to the 
jealousies which had broken out between the two armies, sought an 
interview with the Persian chief. The crafty Eastern, knowing no 
policy but that to which the descendants of his race are still true, 
inveigled the Greek commanders into his power, and having seized 
them sent them in chains to the Persian monarch. He then put 
to death many of their bravest companions and soldiers, who had 
accompanied their chiefs. The effect which this perfidious act 
had on the Greek troops, surrounded by powerful enemies, wander- 
ing in the midst of an unknown and hostile country, betrayed by 
those they had come so far to serve, and separated from their na« 
tive land by impassable rivers, waterless deserts, and inaccessible 
mountains, without even a guide to direct their steps, is touchingly 
described by the great leader and hbtorian of their retreat : " Few 
ate anything that evening, few made fires, and many that night 
never came to their quarters, but laid themselves down, every man 
in the place where he happened to be, unable to sleep through 
sorrow and longing for their country, their parents, their wives, 
and children, whom they never expected to see again." But there 
was one in the array who was equal to the difficulties which en- 

* Anab. b. li. c. 4. It is remarkable that Xenophon does not mention the 
Lesser Zab, which be crossed near its junction with the Tigris. The Greeks 
must have followed the road indicated in the text, and not that to the east of the 
Karachok, now the highway between the two rivers, as Xenophon particularly 
mentions that the Tigris was on his lefl, and that he saw, at the end of the first 
day's journey, on its opposite bank, a considerable city named Csenie, which 
must be identified with Kalah-Sherghat, as there are no other ruins to mark the 
site of a large place, and no open ground below it upon which one could have 
stood. The distance of twenty parasangs, or five days* journey, agrees very 
accurately with this route. 

t See p. 61. 

Chap.x.] xenophon's retreat. 227 

compassed them^ and who had resolved to encourage his hopeless 
countrymen to make one great effort for their liberty and their lives. 
Before the break of day^ Xenophon had formed his plans. Dressed 
in the most beautiful armour he could find, " for he thought if 
the gods granted him victory these ornaments would become a 
conqueror, and if he were to die they would decorate his fall," 
he harangued the desponding Greeks, and showed them how 
alone they could again sec their homes. His eloquence and 
courage gave them new life. Having made their vows to the 
eternal gods, and singing pagans, they burnt their carriages, tents, 
and superfluous baggage, and prepared for the last great struggle. 
The sun must have risen in burning splendor over the parched 
and yellow plains of Shomamok, for it was early in the autumn. 
The world has rarely seen a more glorious sight than was witnessed 
on the banks of the Zab on that memorable morning. The Ten 
Thousand, having eaten, were permitted by the enemy, who were 
probably unprepared for this earnest resistance, to ford the river. 
Aeaching the opposite bank they commenced that series of marches, 
directed with a skill and energy unequalled, which led them 
through difficulties almost insurmountable to their native shores. 

Near Abou- Sheetha, too, Darius, a fugitive, urged his flying 
horses through the Zab, followed by the scattered remnants of an 
army which numbered in its ranks men of almost every race and 
clime of Asia. A few hours after, the Macedonian plunged into 
the ford in pursuit of the fallen monarch, at the head of those in- 
vincible legions which he was to lead, without almost a second 
check, to the banks of the Indus. The plains which stretch from 
the Zab below Abou- Sheetha have since been more than once the 
battlefield of Europe and Asia. 

I ^azed with deep interest upon the scene of such great events 
— a plain, where nothing remains to tell of the vast armies which 
once moved across it, of European valour, or of Eastern magni- 

We had expected to find a raft ready for us near Abou-Shectha. 
The raftnien, however, having chosen a more convenient place 
nearer Negoub, we had to follow the windings of the river 
for t»omc miles, cros.«»ing the mouth of the Kordereh, which 
joins it five or .-ix miles below Abou-Sheetha. Whilst riding 
through the jungle a wolf rose before me from its lair, and nm 
towards the plain. Following the animal, I wounded it with one 
barrel of my pistol, and was about to discharge the second, when 
my horse slipt on some wet straw left by a recent encampment. 


and we fell together upon the wolf. It struggled and freed 
itself, leaving me besmeared with its blood. The cock of the 
pistol fortunately broke in going off whilst the muzzle was close to 
my head, and I escaped without other injury than a bruised hand, 
the complete use of which I did not recover for some months. 

On my return to Nimroud, t remained there a few days to give 
directions to the overseers for continuing the work during a pro- 
longed absence which I meditated in the desert. On a level with 
the north-west palace, and on the south side of the high pyramidal 
mound, some chambers, ornamented with sculptures, had already 
been discovered, and it was chiefly in this part of the ruins that 
the excavations were now carried on ; but I will defer an account 
of the remarkable monuments existing there until I can describe 
the entire building from which the earth was removed during our 
trip to the Khabour. 

At Kouyunjik several new chambers had been opened. The 
western portal of the great hall, whose four sides were now com- 
pletely uncovered *, led into a long narrow chamber (eighty-two 
feet by twenty-six), the walls of which had unfortunately been 
almost entirely destroy ed.f On such fragments, however, as re- 
mained were traces of the usual subjects, — battles and victories. 
There was nothing remarkable in the dresses of the captives, or in 
the details, to give any clue to the conquered people, whose coun- 
try was simply represented by wooded mountains and a broad 

In the chamber beyond f a few slabs were still standing in their 
original places. In length this room was the same as that parallel 
to it, but in breadth it was only eighteen feet. The bas-reliefs re- 
presented the siege and sack of one of the many cities taken by the 
great king, and the transfer of its captives to some distant province 
of Assyria. The prisoners were dressed in garments falling to 
the calves of their legs, and the women wore a kind of turban. Al- 
though the country was mountainous, its inhabitants used the camel 
as a beast of burden, and in the sculptures it was represented laden 
with the spoil. The Assyrians, as was their custom, carried away in 
triumph the imager of the gods of the conquered nation, which were 
placed on poles and borne in procession on men's shoulders. ^* Hath 
any god of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king 
of Assyria ?" exclaimed the Assyrian general to the Jews. " Where 
are the Gods of Hamath and Arphad ? where are the gods of 

♦ No. vi. Plan 1. f N'o, ix. Same Plan. J No. x. Same Plan. 

Chap.x.] bas-reliefs described. 229 

Sepharvaim ? " * They had been carried away with the captives, 
and the very idols that were represented in this bas-relief may be 
amongst those to which Rabshakeh made this boasting allusion. 
The captured gods were three, a human figure with outstretched 
aims, a lion-headed man carrying a long staff in one hand, and an 
image inclosed by a square frame. Within a fortified camp, defended 
by towers and battlements, the priests were offering up the sacri- 
fices usual upon a victory ; the pontiff was distinguished by a high 
conical cap, and, as is always the case in the Assyrian sculptures, 
was beardless. By his side stood an assistant. Before the altar, on 
which were some sacrificial utensils, was the sacred chariot, with its 
elaborate yoke. On a raised band, across the centre of the castle, 
was inscribed the name and titles of Sennacherib.f 

On the northern side of the great hall the portal formed by the 
winged bulb, and the two smaller doorways guarded by colossal 
winged figures, led into a chamber one hundred feet by twenty-four, 
which opened into a further room of somewhat smaller dimen- 
sions.^ In the first, a few slabs were still standing, to show that 
on the walls had been represented some warlike expedition of the 
Assyrian king, and, as usual, the triumphant issue of the cam- 
paign. The monarch, in his chariot, and surrounded by his body- 
guards, was seen receiving the captives and the spoil in a 
hilly country, whilst his warriors were dragging their horses up a 
steep mountain near a fortified town, driving their chariots along 
the banks of a river, and slaying with the spear the flying 
enemy. § 

The bas-relicfiii, which had once ornamented the second cham- 
ber, had been still more completely destroyed. A few fragments 
proved that they had recorded the wars of the Assyrians with a 
maritime people, whose overthrow was represented on more than one 
sculptured wall in the palace, and who may probably be identified 
with some nation on the IMucnician coast conquered by Senna- 
cherib, and mentioned in his great inscriptions. Their galleys, 
rowed by double banks of oarsmen, and the high conical head- 
dress of their women, have already been described. || On the 
be:»t preserved slab was the interior of a fortified camp, amidst 
mountains. Within the walls were tents whose owners were eii- 

• Ii<aiuh, XXX vi. IH, 19. 

t riato 50. 2<l tM-rios of MonumcntiJ of Nineveh. 

I NcM. TJi. an<l viii. Plun 1. 

§ Plat*? 29. of 2il »orie5 of Motiuinents of Nineveh. 

I Nineveh ami itj Keinain.% vol. ii. p. 128. 

Q 3 



[Chap. X. 

gaged in various domestic occupations, cooking in pots placed on 
stones over the fire, receiving the blood of a slaughtered sheep in a 
jar, and mnking ready the couches. Warriors were seated before 
a table, with their shields bung to tbe tent-pole above them. This 
bns-relief luay confirm what I have elsewhere stated, that the 
Assyrians were accustomed to dwell in tents within the walla of 
their cities, as a portion of the inhabitants of many Eastern towns 
still do ; though it is more probable that, in this sculpture, a forti- 
fictl camp is intended by the turretted ground-plan.* 

To the south of the palace, but part of the same great building, 
though somewhat removed from the new excavations, and adjoining 
those formerly carried on, an additional chamber hnd been opened, in 
which several bas-reliefs of considerable interest had been discovered-t 
Its principal entrance, facing the west, 
was formed by a pair of colossal human* 
headed lions, carved in coarse lime- 
stone, so much injured that even the 
inscriptions on the lower part of them 
were nearly illegible. Unfortunately 
the bas-relicfa were equally mutilated, 
four slabs only retaining any traces of 
sculpture. One of them represented 
Assyrian warriors leading captives, 
who differed in costume from any other 
conquered people hitherto Found on the 
walla of the palaces. Their head-dress 
consisted of high feathers, forming a 
kind of tinra like that of an Indian 
chief, and they wore a robe confined 
at tlie waist, by an ornamented ^rdle. 
Some of them carried an object re- 
sembling a torch. Amongst the ene- 
mies of the Egyptians represented 
on their monuments ia a tribe 
Ac^n'''-<fiii'^Tti«.ri iKu"i"t>j> similarly attired. Their name has 
been read Tokkari, and they have been identified witli an Asiatic 

■ Nineveh and iu Remains, vol. ii. p. 243. It was first su^ested by a recent 
writer on Nineveh, and, I think, for good reasoni, that these ground-plans 
of fortifications in the bas-reliefa represent a fortified camp, and not a city. 
(" Assyria, her Manners and Customs, &c.," p. 327., by Mr. Goss,— a wort the 
general accuracy of which I take the opportunity of acknowledging). 

f No. xxiL Plan 1. Some of the slabs had been origiually sculptured on 

Caip. X.] THE TOKEABI. 231 

nattoD. We have eeen that in the inscriptionB on the bulls, 
the Tokkari are mentioned atiiongst tlie people conquered by 
Sennacherib *, and it is highly probable that the captives in the 



bas-reliefs I am describing belonged to them. Unfortunately no 
epigraph, or vestige of an Inscri[>tion, remained on the sculjitufL'S 
themselves, to enable us to identify tliuin-t 

Oji a second sinb, preserved in this cliiimber, was represented a 
double* walled city with arched guteways, and Inclined a[ipro:iehe» 
leading to ihcm from the outer wiiUs, Within wure warriors with 
horses ; outside the fortifications was a narrow stream or cannl, 
plante<l on Ixith sitles with trees, and flowing into n broad river, on 
which were large boats, holding several ]>crsons, and a nift iif skins, 

the (uQ m.w lumt-'l l<> tliL- wall of Mindri<->l l>rii'kH, litit tin^ Imil nor, I lliliik, 
brtn br(iiij{hl fruiii niij iilhiT buiMinK- Tin: slyli; of «'ul[>liiri.' wiiri siliiiliir to 
lli»t ™ Uw wallt •>( KoiiTunjik. an.l it i» m<«l |.r< that «.mo i-rriT liavidf; 
bwn midt! ill lliu liu-nlkr, it wu jLtln^vl, hikI ihu <ip[»>iiitv Tmu iiirviil 

* S.* p. 141!. 

t I'I»M 44. aa *;rlw of Monument* of Ninevtli. 



Crap. X.] 



bearing A man fishing, and two others seated before a pot or caldron. 
Along the banks, and apparently washed by the stream, waa a wall 
with equidistant towers and battlements. On another part of the 
same riTer were men ferrying horses across the river in boats, whilst 
others were swimming over on inflated skins. The water swarmed 
with fish and craba. Gardens and orchards, with various kinds of 
trees, appeared to be watered by canals similar to those which once 
spread fertility over the plains of Babylonia, and of which the 
choked-up beds still remain. A man, euspeoded by a rope, was 
being lowered into the water. Upon the comer of a slab almost 
destroyed, was a hanging garden, supported upon columns, whose 
ca|HtaIa were not unlike those of the Corinthian order. This repre- 
KDtation of ornamental gardens was highly curious. It is much to 
be r^retted that the bas-reliefs had sustained too much injury to 
be restored or removed. 



I HAD long wished to visit the banka of the Khabour. This river, 
the Chaboms of the Greek geographers, and tlie Habor, or Chebar, 
of the Samaritan captivity *, rises in the north of Mesopotamia, 
and flowing to the west of the Sinjar hill, falls into the Euphrates 
near the site of the ancient city of Carchemiah f or Circesium, 
still known to the Bedouins by the naine of Carkeseea. A^ it 
winds through the midst of the desert, and its rich pastures are 

• 2 Kinps I 

t 2 Chron. x 


the resort of wandering tribes of Arabs^ it is always difficult of 
access to the traveller. It was examined, for a short distance 
from its mouth, by the expedition under Colonel Chesney ; but 
the general course of the river was imperfectly known, and several 
geographical questions of interest connected with it were unde- 
termined previous to my visit. 

With the Bedouins, who were occasionally my guests at Mosul 
or Nimroud, as well as with the Jebours, whose encamping 
grounds were originally on its banks, the Khabour was a constant 
theme of exaggerated praise. The richness of its pastures, the 
beauty of its flowers, its jungles teeming with game of ail kinds, 
and the leafy thickness of its trees yielding an agreeable shade 
during the hottest days of summer, formed a terrestrial paradise 
to whicli the wandering Arab eagerly turned his steps when he 
could lead his flocks thither in safety. Ruins, too, as an ad- 
ditional attraction, were declared to abound on its banks and 
formed the principal inducement for me to undertake a long 
and somewhat hazardous journey. I was anxious to determine 
how far the influence of Assyrian art and manners extended, and 
whether monuments of the same period as those discovered at 
Nineveh existed so far to the west of the Tigris. During the 
winter my old friend Mohammed Emin, Sheikh of one of the 
principal bmnches of the Jcbour tribe, had pitched his tents on 
the river. Arabs from his encampment would occasionally wander 
to Mosul. They generally bore an invitation from their chief, 
urging me to visit him when the spring rendered a march through 
the desert both easy and pleasant. But when a note arrived 
from the Sheikh, announcing that two colossal idols, similar to 
those of Nimroud, had suddenly appeared in a mound by the 
river side, I hesitated no longer, and determined to start at once 
for the Khabour. To avoid, however, any disappointment, I sent 
one of my own workmen to examine the pretended sculptures. 
As he confirmed, on his return, the account I had received, 1 lost 
no time in making preparations for the journey. 

Ah the Shamniar Hedouins were scattered over the desert be- 
tween Mosul and the Khal>our, and their horsemen continually 
scoured the plains in search of plunder, it was necessary that we 
should l>e protected and accontpanied by an influential chief of the 
trilK?. 1 accordingly sent to Suttum, a Sheikh of the Boraij, one 
of the principal branches of the Shannnar, whose tents were at 
that time pitched l>etween the river and the ruins of Kl llather. 
Suttum was well known to me, and had already given proofs of 


his trustworthiness and intelligence on more than one similar 
occasion. He lost no time in obeying the summons. Arrange- 
ments were soon made with him. He agreed to furnish camels 
for our baggage, and to remain with me himself until he had seen 
my caravan in safety again within the gates of Mosul. He re- 
turned to the desert to fetch the camels, and to make other 
preparations for our journey, promising to be with me in a few 

Punctual to his appointment. Sheikh Suttum brought his camels 
to Mosul on the 19th of March. He was accompanied by Kho- 
raif, his rediff^ as the person who sits on the dromedary * behind 
the principal rider is called by the Bedouins. Amongst the two 
great nomade tribes of the Shanimar and Aneyza, the word '^rediff" 
frequently infers a more intimate connection than a mere com- 
panionship on a camel. It is customary with them for a warrior 
to swear a kind of brotherhood with a person not only not related 
to him by blood, but frequently even of a different tribe. Two 
men connected by this tie are inseparable. They go together to 
war, they live in the same tent, and are allowed to see each other's 
wives. They become, indeed, more than brothers. Khoraif was 
of the tribe of the Aneyza, who have a deadly feud with the 
Shammar. Having left his own kith and kin on account of some 
petty quarrel, he had joined their enemies, and had become the 
rediff of Suttum, dwelling under his canvass, accompanying him 
in his expeditions, and riding with him on his deloul. Although 
he had deserted his tribe, Khoraif had not renounced all connection 
with his kindred, nor had he been cut off by them. Being thus 
allied to two powerful clans, he was able to render equal services to 
any of his old or new friends, who might fall into each other's 
hands. It is on this account that a warrior generally chooses his 
rediff from a warlike tribe with which he is at enmity, for if taken 
in war, he would then be dakkeel, that is, protected, by the family, 
or rather particular sept, of his companion. On the other 
hand, should one of the rediff's friends become the prisoner of 
the sub-tribe into which his kinsman has been adopted, he would 
be under its protection, and could not be molested. Thus Khoraif 
would have been an important addition to our party, had we fallen 

• I use the word " dromedary " for a swift riding camel, the Deloul of the 
Arabs, and Hejin of the Turks : it b so applied generally, although incorrectly 
by Europeans in the East. 


in, during our journey, with Aneyza Arabs, against whom, of course, 
Suttum could not protect us. On warlike expeditions the rediff 
generally leads the mare which is to be ridden by his companion 
in the fight. When in face of the enemy he is left in charge of 
the dromedary, and takes part in the battle from its back. He 
rides, when travelling, on the naked back of the animal, clinging to 
the hinder part of the saddle, his legs crouched up almost to his 
chin — a very uncomfortable position for one not accustomed from 
childhood to a hard seat and a rough motion. 

As our desert trip would probably last for more than two 
months, during which time we should meet with no villages, or 
permanent settlements, we were obliged to take with us supplies of 
all kind^, both for ourselves and the workmen ; consequently, flour, 
rice, burghoul (prepared wheat, to be used as a substitute for 
rice), and biscuits, formed a large portion of our baggage. Two 
enormous boxes, each half a camel-load, were under the parti- 
cular protection of Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, with whom they became 
a kind of hobby, notwithstanding my repeated protests against their 
size and inconvenience. They held various luxuries, such as sugar, 
coffee, tea, and spices, with robes of silk and cotton, and red 
and yellow boots, presents for the various chiefs whom we might 
meet in the desert. Baskets, tools for excavating, tents, and 
working utensils, formed the rest of our baggage. 

I knew that I should have no difficulty in finding workmen 
when once in Mohammed Emin's encampment. As, however, it 
was my intention to explore any ruins of importance that we 
might see on our way, I chose about fifty of my best Arab ex- 
cavator j, and twelve Tiyari, or Xestorian:?, to accompany us. 
Thev were to follow on foot, but one or two extra camels were 
j>n)vided in case any were unable from fatigue to keep up with 
the earavan. Tlie camels were driven into the small Mussulman 
burial-ground, adjoining my house in Mosul. The whole morn- 
ing was spent in dividing and arranging the loads, always the 
mo-t cjifficnit part of the preparations for a journey in the East. 
The pack-saddles of the Hedouins, mere bags of rough canvass 
Htuffed with straw, were ill adapted to carry anything but sacks 
c»f wheat and^ flour. As boon as a load was adjusted, it was 
piire to (ilip over the tail, or to turn over on one side. When this 
difliculty was overanne, the animals would suddenly kneel and 
phake < ff their burdens. Their owners were equally hanl to 
plea>c : this camel was galled, another vicious, a third weak. 


Suttum and Khoraif exerted themselves to the utmost, and the 
inhabitants of the quarter, together with stray passers-by, joined 
in the proceedings, adding to the din and confusion, and of course 
considerably to our difficulties. At length, as the muezzin called 
to midday prayer, the last camel issued from the Sinjar gate. A 
place of general rendezvous had been appointed outside the walls, 
that our party might be collected together for a proper start, and 
that those who were good Mussulmans might go through their 
prayers before commencing a perilous journey. 

I did not leave the town until nearly an hour and a half after 
the caravan, to give time for the loads to be finally adjusted, and 
the line of march to be formed. When we had all assembled 
outside the Sinjar gate, our party had swollen into a little army. 
The Doctor, Mr. Cooper, and Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, of course, 
accompanied me. Mr. and Mrs. RoUand with their servants had 
joined our expedition. My Yezidi fellow-traveller from Constan- 
tinople, Cawal Yusuf, with three companions, was to escort me to 
the Sinjar, and to accompany us in our tour through that district 
Several Jebour families, whose tribe was encamped at Abou- 
Psera, near the mouth of the Khabour, seized this opportunity 
to join their friends, taking with them their tents and cattle. 
Thirteen or fourteen Bedouins had charge of the camels, so that, 
with the workmen and servants, our caravan consisted of nearly 
one hundred well-armed men ; a force sufficient to defy almost any 
hostile party with which we were likely to fall in during our 
journey. We had about five and twenty camels, and as many 
horses, some of which were led. As it was spring time and the 
pastures were good, it was not necessary to carry much provender 
for our animals. Hussein Bey, the Yezidi chief, and many of our 
friends, as it is customary in the East, rode with us during part 
of our first stage ; and my excellent friend, the Rev. Mr. Ford, an 
American missionary, then resident in Mosul, passed the first even- 
ing under our tents in the desert. 

Suttum, with his rediff, rode a light fleet dromedary, which had 
been taken in a plundering expedition from the Aneyza. Its name 
was Dhwaila. Its high and picturesque saddle was profusely 
ornamented with brass bosses and nails ; over the seat was thrown 
the Baghdad double bags adorned with long tassels and fringes of 
many-colored wools, so much coveted by the Bedouin. The Sheikh 
had the general direction and superintendence of our march. The 
Mesopotamian desert had been his home from his birth, and he 
knew every spring and pasture. He was of the Saadi, one of the 




most iUaatiiouB families of the Shammar*, antl )ie possessed great 
penonftl influence in the tribe. His intelligence was of a very high 
order, and he was as well known for tus skill in Bedouin intrigue, 
as for his courage and daring in war. In person he wiis of middle 

height, of fjiiirc liubit, but well iitade, niul of uoblc and dignified 
carringc ; although a niiiFl.ut wound in the thi^ii, from which the ball 
bad not been L'Xtmcte<l, gine him a ttlighl hunenes^ in liis gait. His 
features were regular anil wcll-pru^iiirtinned, ami of that dcliciitc 
diameter so fn-fiuuntly found auiongi>t the nuniiulcs of the dc^icrt. 

• An Aral) friU- in liiiiiloil inUi wpti", anil each wpt In rnmpiHieil of certain 
ruiillkl. Thu< SutKim wu a, of lli>: l.rancli called the HiiKij, and of 
ibr rainitj' orSaadl, lipiiik-a liciiig a mrnilvr ufa guvullar division uf the great 
tribe called llie Khonuaeh. 


A restless and sparkling eye of the deepest black spoke the inner 
man, and seemed to scan and penetrate everything within its 
ken. His dark hair was platted into many long tails ; his beard, 
like that of the Arabs in general, was scanty. He wore the usual 
Arab shirt, and over it a cloak of blue cloth, trimmed with red 
silk and lined with fur, a present from some Pasha as he pretended, 
but more probably a part of some great man's wardrobe that had been 
appropriated without its owner's consent A colored kerchief, or 
keffieh, was thrown loosely over his head, and confined above the 
temples by a rope of twisted camel's hair. At his side hung a 
scimitar, an antique horse-pistol was held by a rope tied as a girdle 
round his waist, and a long spear, tufted with black ostrich feathers, 
and ornamented with scarlet streamers, rested on his shoulder. He 
was the very picture of a true Bedouin Sheikh, and his liveliness, 
his wit, and his singular powers of conversation, which made him 
the most agreeable of companions, did not belie his race.* The 
rest of my party, with the exception of the workmen, who were 
on foot, or who contrived to find places on the loads, and spare 
camels, were on horseback. The Bairakdar had the general man- 
agement of the caravan, superintending, with untiring zeal and 
activity, the loading and unloading of the animals, the pitching of 
the tents, and the night watches, which are highly necessary in the 

As we wound slowly over the low rocky hills to the west of the 
town of Mosul, in a long straggling line, our caravan had a strange 
and motley appearance ; Europeans, Turks, Bedouins, town- Arabs, 
Tiyari, and Yezidis, were mingled in singular confusion ; each 
adding, by difference of costume and a profusion of bright colors, 
to the general piQ^uresqueness and gaiety of the scene. 

The Tigris, from its entrance into the low country at the foot of 
the Kurdish mountains near Jezireh, to the ruined town of Tekrit, 
is separated from the Mesopotamian plains by a range of low lime- 

* Burckhardt, the English traveller best acquainted with the Bedouin cha- 
racter, and admirably correct in describing it, makes the following remarks : 
" With all their faults, the Bedouins are one of the noblest nations with which 
I ever had an opportunity of becoming acquainted. . . . The sociable character of 
a Bedouin, when there is no question of profit or interest, may be described 
as truly amiable. His cheerfulness, wit, softness of temper, good-nature, and 
sagacity, which enable him to make shrewd remarks on all subjects, render him 
a pleasing, and oflen a valuable, companion. His equality of temper is never 
ruffled by fatigue or suffering." (Notes on the Bedouins, pp. 203. 208.) Un- 
fortunately, since Burckhardt*s time, closer intercourse with the Turks and 
with Europeans, has much tended to destroy many good features in the Arab 


stone bilk. We rode over this undulating ground for about an 
hour and a half, and then descended into the plain of Zerga, 
encamping for the night near the ruins of a small village^ with 
a foiling Kasr^ called Sahaghi, about twelve miles from Mosul. 
The place had been left by its inhabitants, like all others on the 
desert side of the town, on account of the depredations of the 
Bedouins. There is now scarcely one permanent settlement on 
the banks of the Tigris from Jezireh to the immediate vicinity 
of Baghdad, with the exception of Mosul and Tekrit. One of 
the most fertile countries in the world, watered by a river navigable 
for nearly six hundred miles, has been turned into a desert and a 
wilderness, by continued misgovernment, oppression, and neglect. 

Our tents were pitched near a pool of rain water, which, al- 
though muddy and scant, sufficed for our wants. There are no 
springs in this part of the plain, and the Bedouins are entirely 
dependent upon such temporary 8U[)plie8. The remains of ancient 
villages show, however, that water is not concealed far beneath 
the surface, and that wells once yielded all that was required for 
irrigation and human consumption. 

The loiids had not yet been fairly divided amongst the camels, 
and the sun had risen above the horizon, before the Bedouins had 
arranged them to their satisfaction, and were ready to depart 
The plain of Zcrga was carpeted with tender grass, scarcely yet 
forward enough to afford pasture for our animals. Scattered here 
and there were tulips of a bright scarlet hue, the earliest flower of 
the spring. 

A ride of throe hours and a quarter brought us to a second line 
of linie?tone hilli«, the continuation of the Tel Afer and Sinjar 
range, dividing the email plain of Zerga from the true Mesopo- 
tainian desert. From a prak which I ascended to take bearings, 
the vast level country, stretching to the Euphrates, lay like a map 
beneath me, dotted with mounds, but otherwise unbroken by a 
single eminence. Tiie nearest and most remarkable grouj) of ruins 
was called Abou Khanieera, and consisted of a lofty, conical mound 
surround(*d by a square inolosure, or ridj^e of earth, marking, as at 
Kouyunjik and Niniroud, the remains of ancient walls. From the 
foot of the hill on wliirli I stood there issued a small rivulet, winding 
amongst rushes, and K»sing itself in the plain. This running water 
had drawn together the black tents of the Jihesh, a half sedentary 
tril»e of Arabs, who cultivate the lands around the ruined village 
of AIk)U Maria. Their flocks grazing on the plain, and the shep- 
herds who watched them, were the only living objects in that bound- 



less expanse. The hill and the stream are called Mohallibijah, 
from the sweetness of the water, the neighbouring springs being all 
more or less brackish.* 

As the caravan issued from the defile leading from the hills 
into the plain, the Arabs brought out bowls of sour milk and 
fresh water, inviting us to spend the night in their encampment. 
Eight or ten of my workmen, under a Christian superintendent, 
had been for some days excavating in the ruins of Abou Kha- 
meera. I therefore ordered the tents to be pitched near the reedy 
stream, and galloped to the mounds, which were rather more than 
a mile distant. 

In general plan the ruins closely resemble those of Mokhamour 
in the Tai country. f A broad and lofty mound shows the traces 
of several distinct platforms or terraces rising one above the 
other. It is almost perpendicular on its four sides, except where, on 
the south-eastern, there appears to have been an inclined ascent, or 
a flight of steps, leading to the summit, and it stands nearly in the 
centre of an inclosure of earthen walls forming a regular quad- 
rangle about 660 paces square. The workmen had opened deep 
trenches and tunnels in several parts of the principal ruin, and 
had found walls of sun-dried brick, unsculptured alabaster slabs, 
and some circular stone sockets for the hinges of gates, similar to 
those discovered at Nimroud. The baked bricks and the pieces 
of gypsum and pottery scattered amongst the rubbish bore no 
inscriptions, nor could I, after the most careful search, find the 
smallest fragment of sculpture. I have no hesitation, however, 
in assigning the ruins to the Assyrian period. 

The Jehesh encamped near Abou Khameera were under Sheikh 
Saleh, the chief of this branch of a tribe scattered over the pashalic, 
and once large and powerful. They pay kowee, or black mail, 
to the Shamrtiar Bedouins, and are thus able to pasture their flocks 
free from molestation in this part of the desert. 

One of those furious and sudden storms, which frequently sweep 
over the plains of Mesopotamia during the spring season, burst 
over us in the night. Whilst incessant lightnings broke the gloom, 
a raging wind almost drowned the deep roll of the thunder. The 

* There is a second spring of fresh water called Sheikh Ibrahim, beneath a 
high rock named Maasoud. The whole line of hills bounding the plain of 
Zerga to the west is called Kebritiyah, " the sulphur range," from a sulphurous 
spring rising at their feet. In this range are several remarkable peaks, serving 
as landmarks from great distances in the desert. 

t See p. 225. 

Chap. XI.] TEL ERMAH. 243 

united strength of the Arabs could scarcely hold the flapping 
canvass of the tents. Rain descended in torrents, sparing us no 
place of shelter. Towards dawn the hurricane had passed away, 
leaving a still and cloudless sky. When the round clear sun rose 
from the broad expanse of the desert, a delightful calm and fresh- 
ness pervaded the air, producing mingled sensations of pleasure 
and repose. 

The vegetation was far more forward in that part of the desert 
traversed during the day's journey than in the plain of Zerga. 
We trod on a carpet of the brightest verdure, mingled with gaudy 
flowers. Men and animals rejoiced equally in these luxuriant 
pastures, and leaving the line of march strayed over the mea- 
dows. On all sides of us rose Assyrian mounds, now covered with 
soft herbage. I rode with Suttum from ruin to ruin, examining 
each, but finding no other remains than fragments of pottery and 
baked bricks. The Bedouin chief had names for them all, but they 
were mere Arab names, derived generally from some local pecu- 
liarity ; the more ancient had been long lost. From his child- 
hood his father's tents had been pitched amongst these ruins 
for some weeks twice, nearly every year; when in the spring 
the tribe journeyed towards the banks of the Khabour, and again 
when in autumn they re-sought their winter camping-grounds 
around Babylon. These lofty mounds, seen from a great distance, 
and the best of landmarkd in a vast plain, guide tlie Bedouin in 
hi.-? yearly wanderings.* 

Tel Ennah, ** the mound of the spears," had been visible from 
our tents, rising far above the surrounding^ ruins. As it wa.-^ 
a little out of tlic direct line of march, Suttum mounted one of 
our led horses, and leaving Khoraif to protect the caravan, rode 
with me to the spot. Tlie mound is precisely similar in character 
to Abou Khameera and Mokhauiour, and, like them, stands within 
a quadrangle of earthen walls. On its south-eastern side also is a 
ravine, the remains of the ascent to the several terraces of the 
builcling. The principal ruin has assumed a conical form, like the 
high mound at Xiniroud, and from the same cause. It was, I 
presume, originally s(|uarc. Within the inclosure are traces of 

• TIh* following! aro tin* nrim<'s of tlio pr'moiiml mound? Fccn durin;; thi:< d;iy*n 
man h Kmiah, Shi}>Mt, I)iint;j»*, Adtllyuh, Alxm-Kuhhah, niid Kharala, caoh 
unoH' bcinir j»recet|«M! hy iIh» Aral»if word T«I, i. r. mound. They arc laid down 
in th«' map ai'compnnyinfr thi<« volum(% their jK^sitions* having U'cn fixed by 
rareful Ix arin;r«», and in jome instances l»y the sextant. 

B 2 


ancient dwellings, but I was unable to find any inscribed fragments 
of stone or brick. 

Whilst I was examining the ruins, Suttum, from the highest 
mound, had been scanning the plain with his eagle eye. At length 
it rested upon a distant moving object. Although with a telescope 
I could scarcely distinguish that to which he pointed, the Sheikh 
saw that it was a rider on a dromedary. He now, therefore, began 
to watch the stranger with that eager curiosity and suspicion always 
shown by a Bedouin when the solitude of the desert is broken by 
a human being of whose condition and business he is ignorant. 
Suttum soon satisfied himself as to the character of the solitary 
wanderer. He declared him to be a messenger from his own tribe, 
who had been sent to lead us to his father's tents. Mounting 
his horse, he galloped towards him. The Arab soon perceived 
the approaching horseman, and then commenced on both sides 
a series of manoeuvres practised by those who meet in the desert, 
and are as yet distrustful of each other. I marked them from 
the ruin as they cautiously approached, now halting, now draw- 
ing nigh, and then pretending to ride away in an opposite 
direction. At length, recognising one another, they met, and, 
having first dismounted to embrace, came together towards us. 
As Suttum had conjectured, a messenger had been sent to him 
from his father's tribe. The Boraij were now moving towards the 
north in search of the spring pastures, and their tents would be 
pitched in three or four days beneath the Sinjar hill. Suttum 
at once understood the order of their march, and made arrange- 
ments to meet them accordingly. 

Leaving the ruins of Tel Ermah, we found the caravan halting 
near some wells of sweet water, called Marzib. They belong to 
a branch of the Jebours under Sheikh Abd-ul-Azeez, and a few 
patches of green barley and wheat were scattered round them, but 
the tents of the tribe were now nearer the hills, and the cultivated 
plots were left unprotected. 

From this spot the old castle of Tel Afer *, standing boldly on 
an eminence about ten miles distant, was plainly visible. Con- 
tinuing our march we reached, towards evening, a group of mounds 
known as Tel Jemal, and pitched in the midst of them on a green 
lawn, enamelled with flowers, that furnished a carpet for our tents 
unequalled in softness of texture, or in richness of color, by the 
looms of Cashmere. A sluggish stream, called by the Arabs El 

* Nineveh and its Kemains, vol. i. p. 313. 

Chap. XI.] OZAIR AGHA. 245 

Abra, and by the Turcomans of Tel Afer, Kharala, crept through 
the ruins. 

The tents had scarcely been raised when a party of horsemen 
were seen coming towards us. As they approached our encamp- 
ment they played the Jerid with their long spears^ galloping to 
and fro on their well-trained mares. They were the principal in- 
habitants of Tel Afer with Ozair Agha, their chief, who brought 
usa present of lambs, flour, and fresh vegetables. The Agha rode 
on a light chestnut mare of beautiful proportions and rare breed. 
His dress, as well as that of his followers, was singularly pic- 
turesque. His people are Turcomans, a solitary colony in the 
midst of the desert ; and although their connection with the Be- 
douins has taught them the tongue and the habits of the wandering 
tribes, yet they still wear the turban of many folds, and the gay 
flowing robes of their ancestors. They allow their hair to grow 
long, and to fall in curls on their shoulders. 

Ozair Agha was an old friend, who had more than once found re- 
fuge in my house from government oppression. He now sought my 
advice and protection, for he was accused of having been privy to 
some recent foray of the Bedouins, and was summoned to Mosul 
to answer the charge, of which, however, he declared himself com- 
pletely innocent I urged him to obey the summons without delay, 
to avoid the suM^picion of rebellion against the government. I gave 
him, at the same time, letters to the authorities. 

As tlie evening crept on, I watched from the highest mound 
the sun as it gradually sank in unclouded 8[)lendor below the sea- 
like expanse before me. On all sides, as far as the eye could 
reach, rose the grass-covered heaps marking the site of ancient 
habitations. The jrreat tide of civilisation had lonjj since ebbed, 
leaving these scattered wrecks on the solitary shore. Are those 
waters to flow again, bearing back the seeds of knowledge and 
of wealth that they have wafted to the West ? We wanderers were 
seeking what they had left behind, as children gather up the 
c<»lonMl shells on the deserted sands. At my feet there was a busy 
scene, making more lonelv the unbroken solitude which reiirned 
in the vast plain around, where the only thing having life or mo- 
tion were the sha<lows of the lofty mounds as they lengthened be- 
fore the declining sun. Al>ove three years before, when, watching 
the approach of night from the old castle of Tel Afer, I had counted 
nearly one hundred ruins *, now, when in the midst of them, no 

* Nineveh ami itji Ri^muiiiji, vol.i. p. 312. 

m 9 


less than double that number were seen from Tel Jemal. Our 
tents crowning the lip of a natural amphitheatre bright with 
flowers, Ozair Agha and his Turcomans seated on the greensward 
in earnest talk with the Arab chief, the horses picketed in the 
long grass, the Bedouins driving home their camels for the night's 
rest, the servants and grooms busied with their various labors ; 
such was the foreground to a picture of perfect calm and stillness. 
In the distance was the long range of the Sinjar hills, furrowed 
with countless ravines, each marked by a dark purple shadow, 
gradually melting into the evening haze. 

We had a long day's march before us to the village of Sinjar. 
The wilderness appeared still more beautiful than it had done the 
day before. The recent storm had given new life to a vegetation 
which, concealed beneath a crust of apparently unfruitful earth, 
only waits for a spring shower to burst, as if by enchantment, 
through the thirsty soil. Here and there grew patches of a shrub - 
like plant with an edible root, having a sharp pungent taste like 
mustard, eaten raw and much relished by the Bedouins. Among 
them lurked game of various kinds. Trooi)s of gazelles sprang 
from the low cover, and bounded over the plain. The greyhounds 
coursed hares ; the horsemen followed a wild boar of enormous size, 
and nearly white from age ; and the Doctor, who was the sports- 
man of the party, shot a bustard, with a beautiful speckled 
plumage, and a ruff of long feathers round its neck. This bird 
was larger than the common small bustard, but apparently of the 
same species. Other bustards, the great and the middle-sized (the 
Houbron and Houbara of the Arabs *), and the lesser, besides many 
birds of the plover kindf, rose from these tufts, which seemed 
to afford food and shelter to a vjiriety of living creatures. We 
scanned the horizon in vain for the wild ass, which is but thinly 
scattered over the plains. The Arabs found many eggs of the 
middle bustard. They were laid in the grass without any regular 
nest, the bird simply making a form somewhat like that of a hare, 
and sitting very close, frequently not rising until it was nearly 
trodden under foot. One or two eggs of the great bustard were 
also brought to me during the day. 

We still wandered amongst innumerable mounds. The largest I 

* The Houbron is the Otis tarda, or great bustard ; the Houbara, the Otis 
Houbara. I believe that more than one species of the lesser bustard (Otis 
tetrax) is found in the Mesopotamian plains. 

t The most abundant was a large grey plover, called by the Bedouins 
" Smoug." 


examined were called Hathail and Usgah. They resembled those 
of Abou-Khameerah and Tel Ermah, with the remains of terraces^ 
the ascent to them being on the south-eastern side^ and the in- 
closure of earthen walls. 

We rode In a direct line to the Belled Sinjar, the residence of 
the governor of the district. There was no beaten tracks and the 
camels wandered along as they listed, cropping as they went the 
young grass. The horsemen and footmen, too, scattered them- 
eelvea over the plain in search of game. Suttum rode from 
group to group on his swift deloul, urging them to keep together, 
as the AnQyzoi gazous* occadionally swept this part of the desert. 
But to little purpose ; the feeling of liberty and independence 
which these boundless meadows produced was too complete and 
too pleasing to be controlled by any fear of danger, or by the 
Sheikhas prudent counsel. All shared in the exhilarating effects of 
the air and scene. Hormuzd would occasionally place himself at 
the head of the Jebours, and chant their war songs, improvising 
words suited to the occasion. The men answered in chorus, dan- 
cing as they went, brandishing their weapons, and raising their 
bright-colored kerchiefs, as flags, on the end of their spears. The 
more sedate Bedouins smiled in contempt at these noisy effusions 
of joy, only worthy of tribes who have touched the plough ; but they 
inddlgeil in no less keen, though more suppressed, emotions of 
delight. Kvcn the Tiyari caught the general enthusiasm, and sung 
their mountain songs as they walked along. 

As we drew near to the foot of the hills we found a large 
encampment, formed partly by Jebours belonging to Sheikh Abd- 
ul -A zeez, and partly by a Sinjar tribe called Mendka, under a 
chief known as the " Kffendi," who enjoys considerable influence 
in this district. His tent is frequently a place of refuge for 
Bedouin chiefs and others, who have fled from Fuccessful rivals, 
or from the Turkish authorities. His gnui<lfather, a Yezidi in 
creed, embraced Moharninedanism from political motives. The 
conversion was not consequently very sincere, and his descendants 
arc still suspected of a leaning to the faith of their forefathers. 
This (hnible character is one of the principal causes of the Kffendi's 
influenoc. His tribe, which inhabits the Belled and adjcnning 
villajros on the south .Hide of the mountain, consists almost entirely 
of Yezidia. The chief himself resides during the winter and 

* A ]tIuii<liTin«r jKirty, \\\k* rhapptm uf llic Pcrftiaii trilu^s. 

m 4 


spring in tents, and the rest of the year in a Tillage named Soulak. 
The Yezidis of the Sinjar are divided into ten distinct tribes, the 
Heska, Mendka, Houbaba, Merkhan, Bukra, Beit-Khaled^ Amera, 
Al Dakhi, Semoki, and Kerani. 

I dismounted at a short distance from the encampment, to avoid 
a breach of good manners, as to refuse to eat bread, or to spend 
the night, after alighting near a tent, would be thought a grave 
slight upon its owner. The caravan continued its journey towards 
the village. I was soon surrounded by the principal people of the 
camp ; amongst them was one of my old workmen, Khuther, who 
now cultivated a small plot of ground in the desert. 

It was with difficulty that I resisted the entreaties of the 
EfFendi to partake of his hospitality. We did not reach the 
Belled until after the sun had gone down, the caravan having 
been ten hours in unceasing march. The tents were pitched on a 
small plot of ground, watered by numerous rills, and in the centre 
of the ruins. Although almost a swamp, it was the only spot 
free from stones and rubbish. In front of the tent door rose a 
leaning minaret, part of a mosque, and other ruins of Arab edi- 
fices. To the right was an old wall with a falling archway, from 
beneath which gushed a most abundant stream of clear sweet 
water, still retained for a moment in the stone basins once the 
fountains and reservoirs of the city. 

I had scarcely entered my tent when the governor of the dis- 
trict, who resides in a small modern castle built on the hill-side, 
came to see me. He was a Turkish officer belonging to the 
household of Kiamil Pasha, and complained bitterly of his soli- 
tude, of the difficulties of collecting the taxes, and of dealing 
with the Bedouins who haunted the plains. The villages on the 
northern side of the mountain were not only in open rebellion to 
his authority, but fighting one with the other ; all, however, being 
quite of one mind in refusing to contribute to the public revenues. 
He was almost shut up within the walls of his wretched fort, in 
company with a garrison of a score of half-starved Albanians. 
This state of things was chiefly owing to the misconduct of his 
predecessor, who, when the inhabitants of the Sinjar were quiet 
and obedient, had treacherously seized two of their principal chiefs, 
Mahmoud and Murad, and had carried them in chains to Mosul, 
where they had been thrown into prison. A deputation having 
been sent to obtain their release, I had been able to intercede 
with Kiamil Pasha in their behalf, and now bore to their followers 
the welcome news of their speedy return to their homes. 


The tent was soon filled with the people of the Belled, and they 
remained in animated discussion until the night was far spent. 

Early on the following morning, I returned tlie visit of the go- 
vernor, and, from the tower of the small castle, took bearings of the 
principal objects in the plain. The three remarkable peaks rising 
in the low range of Kebriteeyah, behind Abou Khameera, were 
still visible in the extreme distance, and enabled me to fix with 
some accuracy the position of many ruins. They would be useful 
landmarks in a survey of this part of the desert. About four or 
five miles distant from the Belled, which, like the fort, is built on 
the hill side, is another large group of mounds, resembling that 
of Abou Khameera, called by the Bedouins simply the " Hosh," 
the courtyard or inclosure. 

The ruins of the ancient town, known to the Arabs as " El 
Belled," or the city, are divided into two distinct parts by a range 
of rocky hills, which, however, are cleft in the centre by the bed of 
a torrent, forming a narrow ravine between them. This ravine is 
crossed by a strong well-built wall, defended by a dry ditch cut into 
the solid rock. An archway admits the torrent into the southern 
part of the city, which appears to have contained the principal edi- 
fices. The northern half is within the valley, and is surrounded by 
ruined fortifications. I could find no traces of remains of any period 
earlier than the Mohammedan, unless the dry ditch excavated in the 
rock be more ancient ; nor could I obtain any relics, or coins, from 
the inhabitants of the modern village. The ruins are, undoubtedly, 
those of the town of Sinjar, the capital of an Arab principality in 
the time of the Caliphs. Its princes frequently asserted their 
independence, coined money, and ruled from the Khabour and 
Euphrates to the neighbourhood of MojjuI. The province was in- 
clu<le<l within the dominions of the celebrated Saleh-ed-din (the 
Sahidin of the Crusades j, and was more than once visited by 

The ruins of Sinjar are also believed to represent the Singaraof 
the Konians. On coins struck under the Emperor Gordian, and 
Ix-aring his eflSgy with that of the empress Tranquillina, this city 
ii* represented by a female wearing a mural crown surmounted by 
a centaur, seateil on a hill with a river at her feet(?y^ Ac- 

• TIktc wore »1«<» coins of Alexander Severus, struck in Singara. It is to 
\h' n'Miurked that, in consKMjueiice of con?ideral)le disen*pancies in the accounts 
of uiK-ient gt^ographers, several authors have l>een inclined to l)elieve that there 
were twi> cities of the same name ; one, according to Ptolemy, on the Tigris, the 
othtT under the mountain. It was long a place of cuntctitiuu lietween the Uo- 
iwiixs aud Tartbiuu. 


cording to the Arab geographera, the Slnjar waa celebrated for its 
pahns. Thia tree is no longer fouad there, nor doea it bear fruit, 
I beliGYc, anywhere to the oorth of Tekrit in Mesopotamia. 

Wialiing to visit the viUsgeti of the Shomal, or northern side of 
the mountain, and at the same time to put an end, if posaible, to 
the bloodshed between their inhabitants, and to induce tbera to 
submit to the goYernor, I quitted the Belled in the afternoon, 
nccompanied by Cawal Yueuf and his Yezidi companions, Mr. and 
Mrs. R., the Doctor, and Mr. Cooper. The tents, baggage, and 
workmen were left under the charge of the Bairakdar. Suttum 
went to his tribe to make further arrangements for our journey to 
the Khabour. 

We followed a precipitous pathway along the hill-side to 
Mirkan, the villi^e destroyed by Tahyar Faaha on my first visit 
to the Sinjar." This part of the mountain is coated with thin 
strata of a white fossiliferouB limestone, which detach them- 
selves in enormous flakes, and fall Into the valleys and ravines, 
leaving an endless variety of singular forms in the rocks above. 
In some places the declivities are broken into stupendous flights 
of steps, in others they have the columnar appearance of basalt. 
This limestone produces scarcely n blade of vegetation, and its 
milk-white color, throwing back the intense glare of the sun's rays, 
is both painful and hurtful to the sight. 

Hirkan was in open rebellion, and bad refused both to pay 
taxes and to receive the oflUcer of the Pasha of Mosul. I was, at 
first, somewhat doubtful of our reception. Esau, the chief, came 
out, however, to meet me, and led us to his bouse. We were soon 
surrounded by the principal men of the village. They were also 

* Nineveh and its Bcmuns, vol. i. p. 317. 


at war with the tribes of the " Shomal.*' A few days before they 
had fought with the loss of several men on both sides. Seconded 
by Cawal Yusuf, I endeavored to make them feel that peace and 
union amongst themselves was not only essential to their own 
welfare, but to that of the Yezidis of Kurdistan and Armenia, 
who had| at length, received a promise of protection from the 
Turkish government, and who would suffer for their misdeeds. 
After a lengthened discussion the chief consented to accompany 
me to the neighbouring village of Bukra, with whose inhabitants 
his people had been for some time at war. 

Mirkan had been partly rebuilt since its destruction three years 
before ; but the ruins and charred timbers of houses still occupied 
much of its former site. We crossed the entrance to the ravine 
filled with caverns into which the Yezidis had taken refuge, when 
they made the successful defence I have elsewhere described. 

There are two pathways from Mirkan to the " Sbomal," one 
winding through narrow valleys, the other crossing the shoulder 
of the mountain. I chose the latter, as it enabled me to obtain 
an extensive view of the surrounding country, and to take bearings 
of many points of interest. The slopes around the villages are 
most industriously and carefully cultivated. Earth, collected with 
great labor, is spread over terraces, supported by walls of loose 
stones, as on the declivities of Mount Lebanon. These stages, 
rising one above the other, are planted with fig-trees, between 
which is occasionally raised a scanty crop of wheat or barley. The 
neatness of these terraced plots conveys a very favorable iui- 
presMun of the industry of the Yezidis. 

Near the crest of the hill we passed a white conical building, 
shaded by a grove of trees. It was the tomb of the father of 
Murad, one of Yusufs companions, a Cawal of note, who had 
died near tlie spot of the plague some years before. The walls 
wtrt* hung with the horns of sheep, slain in sacrifice, by occasional 

I had lie tie anticipated the beauty and extent of the view which 
o|K.*ned round us on the top of the pass. The Sinjar hill is a 
t*olitary ridge rising abruptly in the midst of the desert ; from its 
^unnuit, therefore, the eye ranges on one side over the vast level 
wiMernesd strelcliing to the Euphrates, and on the other over the 
plain iHiundcd by the Tigris and the lofty mountains of Kurdistan. 
Ninibin and Mardin were both visible in the distance. I could 
di^tinguish the liillr* of Hiuidri and Sheikh Adi, and many well- 
knowu jKraks of the Kurdish Alps. Behind the lower ranges, 



[Chap. XI. 

each distinctly marlied Ly its eharp, eerrated outline, were tlie 
enow-covered heights of Tiyari and Bohtnn. Whilst to the south 
of the Sinjar artificial mounds appeared to abound, to the nortl) 
I could distinguish but few such remains We dismounted to 
gaze upon this truly magnificent scene lighted up by the setting 
Bun. I have rarely seen nny prospect more impressive than these 
boundless plains viewed from a considerable elevation. Besides 
the idea of vastness they convey, the light and shade of passing 

clouds flitting over the face of the land, and the shadows as they 
lengthen towards the close of day, produce constantly changing 
effects of singular variety and beauty.* 

It was niglit before we reached Bukra, where we were wel- 
comed with great hospitality. The beat bouse in the village had 

• The traveller who has looked down from Mardin, for the first time, upon the 
plains of Mesopotamia, can never forget the impression which that singular scene 
must have made upon him. The view from the Sinjar hill ig far more beautiful 
and varied. 


been made ready for us^ and was scrupulously neat and clean, 
as the houses of the Yezidis usually are. It was curiously 
built, being divided into three principal rooms, opening one into 
the other. They were separated by a wall about six feet high, 
upon which were placed wooden pillars supporting the ceiling. 
The roof rested on trunks of trees, raised on rude stone pedestals 
at regular intervals in the centre chamber, which was open on one 
side to the air, like a Persian I wan. The sides of the rooms were 
honeycombed with small recesses like pigeon-holes, tastefully ar- 
ranged. The whole was plastered with the whitest plaster, fancy 
designs in bright red being introduced here and there, and giving 
the interior of the house a very original appearance. 

The elders of Bukra came to me after we dined, and seated 
themselves refi»j)ectfully and decorously round the room. They 
were not averse to the rcconcilijition I proposed, received the 
hostile chief without hesitation, and promised to accompany me 
on the morrow to the adjoining village of Ossofa, with which they 
were also at war. Amongst those who had followed us was an 
active and intelligent youth, one of the defenders of the caverns 
when the Turkish troops under Tahyar Pasha attacked Mirk an. 
He related with great spirit and zest the particulars of the affair, 
and assured me that he had killed several men with his own gun. 
He was then but a bov, and it was the first time he had seen war. 
His father, lie said, placed a rifle in his hand, and pointing to a 
soldier who was scaling the rocks exclaimed, ** Now, show me 
whether thou art a man, and worthy of nic. Shoot that enemy of 
our faith, or I will shoot you I" lie fired, and the assailant rolled 
back into the ravine. 

In tlie morning wc visited several houses in the village. They 
were all built on the same plan, and were equally neat and 
clean. The women received us without concealinjr their faces, 
which are, however, far from pleasing, their features being irre- 
gular, and their complexion sallow. Those who are married dress 
entirely in white, with a white kerchief under their chins, and 
anntlier over their heads held by the ikjuU or woollen cord, of 
the I>e<louins. The girls wear white shirts and drawers, but 
over them colored zahouus, or long silk dresses, open in front, and 
(•'•nfined at the wai^t by a girdle ornamented with pieces of silver. 
Tiuv twi.nt gav kerchiefs round their heads, and adorn themselves 
with eoins, and glass and amber beads, when their parents are able 
to ppHUire then). But the Yezidis of the Sinjar are now very 
p<M»r, and nearly all the trinkets of the women have long since 


fallen into the hands of the Turkish soldiery, or have been sold to 
pay taxes and arbitrary fines. The men have a dark complexion, 
black and piercing eyes, and frequently a fierce and forbidding 
countenance. They are of small stature, but have well proportioned 
limbs strongly knit together, and are muscular, active, and capable 
of bearing great fatigue. Their dress consists of a shirt, loose 
trowsers and cloak, all white, and a black turban, from beneath 
which their hair falls in ringlets. Their long rifles are rarely 
out of their hands, and they carry pistols in their girdle, a sword 
at their side, and a row of cartouche cases, generally made of 
cut reeds, on their breast. These additions to their costume, an4 
their swarthy features, give them a peculiar look of ferocity, 
which, according to some, is not belied by their characters. 

The Yezidis are, by one of their religious laws, forbidden to 
wear the common Eastern shirt open in front, and this article of 
their dress is always closed up to the neck. This is a distinctive 
mark of the sect by which its members may be recognised at a 
glance. The language of the people of Sinjar is Kurdish, and few 
speak Arabic. According to their traditions they are the de- 
scendants of a colony from the north of Syria, which settled in 
Mesopotamia at a comparatively recent period, but I could obtain 
no positive information on the subject. It is probable, however, 
that they did not migrate to their . present seats before the fall 
of the Arab principality, and the invasion of Timourleng, to- 
wards the end of the fourteenth century. 

The north side of the mountain is thickly inhabited, and well- 
cultivated as far as the scanty soil will permit. Scarcely three 
quarters of a mile to the west of Bukra is the village of Naksi, the 
interval between the two being occupied by terraces planted 
with fig-trees. We did not stop, although the inhabitants came 
out to meet us, but rode on to Ossofa, or Usifa, only separated 
from Naksi by a rocky valley. The people of this village were 
at war with their neighbours, and as this was one of the principal 
seats of rebellion and discontent, I was anxious to have an inter- 
view with its chief. 

The position of Ossofa is very picturesque. It stands on the 
edge of a deep ravine ; behind it are lofty crags and narrow 
gorges, whose sides are filled with natural caverns. On over- 
hanging rocks, towering above the village, are two ziarehs, or holy 
places, of the Yezidis, distinguished from afar by their white fluted 

Pulo, the chief, met us at the head of the principal inhabitants 

Cbap.XI.] tomb op CAWAL HUSSEIN. 255 

and led me to his house where a large assembly was soon col- 
lected to discuss the principal object of my visit. The chiefs 
of Mirkan and Bukra were induced to make offers of peace, 
which were accepted, and after much discussion the terms of an 
amicable arrangement were agreed to and ratified by general con- 
sent. Sheep were slain to celebrate the event. The meat, after 
the Yezidi fashion, was boiled in onions, and a kind of parched 
pea, and aft;erwards served up, like porridge, in large wooden 
bowls. The mess is not unsavoury, and is the principal dish 
of the Sinjar. Dried figs, strung in rows and made up into gro- 
tesque figures, were brought to us as presents. After the 
political questions had been settled, the young men adjourned 
to an open spot outside the village to practise with their rifles. 
They proved excellent shots, seldom missing the very centre of 
the mark. 

The villages of Bouran (now deserted), Gundi-Gayli, Kushna, 
and Aldina, follow to the west of Ossofa, scarcely half a mile in- 
tervening between each. They are grouped together on the 
mountain side, which, above and below them, is divided into ter- 
races and planted with fig-trees. The loose stones are most care- 
fully removed from every plot of earth, however small, and built 
up into walls ; on the higher elopes are a few vineyards. 

We passed the night at Aldina, in the house of Murad, one of 
the imprisoned chiefs, whose release I had obtained before leaving 
Mosul. I was able to announce the good tidings of his approach- 
ing return to his wife, to whom he had been lately married, and 
who had given birth to a child dnrinjj his absence. 

Below Aldina stands a remarkable ztarchy inclosed by a wall of 
cycloj)ean dimensions. In the plain beneath, in the midst of a 
pn)ve of trees, is the tomb of Cuwal IIuj?sein, the father of Cawal 
Yusuf, who died in the Sinjar during one of his pcrioilical visit- 
ations. He was a priest of sanctity and influence, and his 
grave is still visited as a place of pilgrimage. Sacrifices of sheep 
are ma<le there, but they are merely in remembrance of the 
deceased, and have no particular religious meaning attached to 
them. The flesh is distributed amongst the [>oor, ind a sum of 
money is frequently added. Approving the ceremony as one 
tending to pn>mote charity and kindly feeling, I gave a sheep to 
Ik? sacrificed at the tomb of the Cawal, and one of my fellow 
travellers added a second, the carcases being afterwards divided 
among the needy. 

All the villages we had passed during our short day's journey 


Btand high on the mountain side, where they have been built for 
security against the Bedouins. They command extensive views of 
the plain, the white barracks of Nisibin, although certainly between 
twenty and thirty miles distant, being visible from them, and the 
snowy range of Kurdistan forming a magnificent back ground to the 
picture. The springs, rising in the hill, are either entirely ab- 
sorbed in irrigation, or are soon lost in the thirsty plain beneath. 
Parallel to the Sinjar range is a long narrow valley, scarcely half 
a mile in width, formed by a bold ridge of white limestone rocks, 
so friable that the plain for some distance is covered with their 

A messenger brought me word during the night that Suttum had 
returned from his tribe, and was waiting with a party of horsemen 
to escort us to his tents. I determined, therefore, to cross at once 
to the Belled by a direct though difficult pass. The Doctor and 
Mr. R., leaving the pathway, scaled the rocks in search of the 
ibex, or wild goat, which abounds in the highest ridges of the 

We visited Nogray and Ameera, before entering the gorge 
leading to the pass. Only two other villages of any importance, 
Semoka and Jafri, were left unseen. The ascent of the mountain 
was extremely precipitous, and we were nearly two hours in 
reaching the summit. We then found ourselves on a broad green 
platform thickly wooded with dwarf oak. I was surprised to 
see snow still lying in the sheltered nooks. On both sides 
of us stretched the great Mesopotamian plains. To the south, 
glittering in the sun, was a small salt lake about fifteen miles 
distant from the Sinjar, called by the Arabs, Munaif. From it 
the Bedouins, when in their northern pastures, obtain their sup- 
plies of salt. 

We descended to the Belled through a narrow valley thick 
with oak and various shrubs. Game appeared to abound. A 
Yezidi, who had accompanied us from Aldina, shot three wild 
boars, and we put up several coveys of the large red partridge. 
The Doctor and Mr. R., who joined us soon after we had reached 
our tents, had seen several wild goats, and had found a carcase half 
devoured by the wolves. 

In the valley behind the Belled we passed the ruins of a large 
deserted village, whose inhabitants, according to Cawal Yusuf, had 
been entirely destroyed by the plague. We were nearly five hours 
in crossing the mountain. 

Suttum and his Bedouin companions were waiting for us, but 


were not anxious to start before the following morning. A Yezidi 
snake-charmer, with his son, a boy of seven or eight years old, 
came to mj tents in the afternoon, and exhibited his tricks in the 
midst of a circle of astonished beholders. He first pulled from a 
bag a number of snakes knotted together, which the bystanders 
declared to be of the most venomous kind. The child took the 
reptiles fearlessly from his father, and placing them in his bosom 
allowed them to twine themselves round his neck and arms. The 
Bedouins gazed in mute wonder at these proceedings^ but when 
the Sheikh, feigning rage against one of the snakes which had 
drawn blood from his son, seized it, and biting off its head 
with his teeth threw the writhing body amongst them, they could 
no longer restrain their horror and indignation. They uttered loud 
curses on the infidel snake-charmer and his kindred to the remotest 
generations. Suttum did not regain his composure during the 
whole evening, frequently relapsing into profound thought, then 
suddenly breaking out in a fresh curse upon the Sheikh, who, he 
declared, had a very close and unholy connection with the evil 
one. Many days passed before he had completely got over the 
horror the poor Yczidi's feats had caused him. 

The poisonous teeth of the snakes which the Sheikh carried 
with him had probably been drawn, although he offered to prac- 
tise upon any specimens we niiglit procure for him. I did not, 
however, deem it prudent to put him to the test. The ruins of 
the Sinjar abound with these reptiles, and I had seen many 
amongst them. That most commonly found is of a dark brown 
color, nearly approaching to black, and, I believe, harmless. I 
have met with them above six feet in length. Others, however, 
are of a more dangerous character, and the Bedouins are in great 
dread of them. 

Suttum had chanfjed his deloul for a white mare of great 
beaut V, named Athaiba. She was of the race of Kohaila, of 
exquisite symmetry, in temper docile as a lamb, yet with an eye 
of fire, and of a proud and noble carriage when excited in war or 
in the chase. His saddle was the simple stuffed pad generally 
used by the liedouins, without stirrups. A halter alone served 
to gui<lc the gentle animal. Suttum had brought with him 
several of the principal members of his family, all of whom were 
mounted on high-bred mares. One youth rode a bay filly, for 
which, I was assured, one hundred camels had been offered. 

We followed a pathway over the broken ground at the foot of 
the Sinjar, crossing deep watercourses worn by the small streams, 



which lose themselves in the desert The Tillages, as on the opposite 
dope, or " Shomal," are high up on the hill-side. The first we passed 
was Grabara, inhabited by Yezidis and Mussulmans. Its chief, 
KufFo, with a party of horsemen, came to us, and intreated me to 
show him how to open a spring called Soulak^ which, he said, had 
suddenly been choked up, leaving the village almost without water. 
Unfortunately, being ignorant of the arts for which he gave me 
credit, I was unable to afford him any help. Beyond Gabara, 
and nearer to the plain, we saw some modern ruins named Wer- 
diyat, and encamped, after a short ride, upon a pleasant stream 
beneath the village of Jedaila. 

We remained here a whole day in order to visit Suttum's tribe, 
which was now migrating towards the Sinjar. Early in the 
morning a vast crowd of moving objects could be faintly per- 
ceived on the horizon. These were the camels and sheep of the 
Boraij, followed by the usual crowd of men, women, children, and 
beasts of burden. We watched them as they scattered themselves 
over the plain, and gradually settled in different pastures. By 
midday the encampment had been formed and all the stragglers 
collected. We could scarcely distinguish the black tents, and 
their site was only marked by curling wreaths of white smoke. 

In the afternoon Suttum's father, Rishwan, came to us, accom- 
panied by several Sheikhs of the Boraij. He rode on a white 
dcloul celebrated for her beauty and swiftness. His saddle and 
the neck of the animal were profusely adorned with woollen 
tassels of many colors, glass beads, and small shells, after the 
manner of the Arabs of Nejd. The well-trained dromedary 
having knelt at the door of my tent, the old man alighted, and 
throwing his arms round my neck kissed me on both shoulders. 
He was tall, and of noble carriage. His beard was white with 
age, but his form was still erect and his footsteps firm. Rishwan 
was one of the bravest warriors of the Sham mar. He had come, 
when a child, with his father from the original seat of the 
tribe in northern Arabia. As the leader of a large branch of 
the Boraij he had taken a prominent part in the wars of the tribe, 
and the young men still sought him to head their distant foi'ays. 
But he had long renounced the toils of the gazouy and left his 
three sons, of whom Suttura was the second, to maintain the 
honor of the Saadi. He was a noble specimen of the true 
Bedouin, both in character and appearance. With the skill and 
daring of the Arab warrior he united the hospitality, gene- 


rosity, and good faith of a hero of Arab romance. He spoke in 
the rich dialect of the desert tongue, with the eloquence pecu- 
liar to his race. He sat with me during the greater part of the 
afternoon, and having eaten bread returned to his tent. 

The Yezidi chiefs of Kerraniyah or Sekkinijah (the village 
16 known by both names) came to our encampment soon after 
Rishwan's arrivaL As they had a feud with the Bedouins, I 
took advantage of their visit to effect a reconciliation, both parties 
swearing on my hospitality to abstain from plundering one another 
hereafter. The inhabitants of this village and of Semokiyah give 
tithes of produce (and also of property taken in forays) to Hussein 
Bey alone ; whilst others pay tithes to Sheikh Nasr as well as to 
the chief. 

Being anxious to reach the end of our journey I declined Sut- 
tum's invitation to sleep in his tent, but sending the caravan to the 
place appointed for our night's encampment, I made a detour to 
visit his father, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. R., the Doctor, Mr. 
C., and Hormuzd. Although the Boraij were above six miles from 
the small rivulet of Jedaila, they were obliged to send to it for 
water.* As we rode towards their tents we passed their camels 
and sheep slowly wandering towards the stream. The camels, 
spreading far and wide over the plain, were divided according to 
their colors; some herds being entirely white, some yellow, and 
others brown or black. Elach animal bore the well-known mark of 
the tribe branded on his side. The Arabs, who drove them, were 
mounted on dromedaries carrying the capacious rouwis, or buckets 
made of bullock bkins, in which water is brought to the encamp- 
ment fur domestic purjwses. 

A Bedouin warrior, armed with his long tufted spear, and urging 
his fleet dcloul, occasionally passed rapidly by us leading his 
high-bred mare to water, followed by her colt gambolling unre- 
htmined over the greensward. In the throng we met Sahiman, 
the elder brother of Suttum. He was riding on a bay horse, whose 
fame had spread far and wide amongst the tribes, and whose ex- 
ploits were a constant theme of j)raise and wonder with the Sham- 
mar. He was of the race of Obeyan Sherakh, a breed now almost 

• In the iprin^j months, when the pastures ore good, the sheep and canicis of 
t}»r Htnlouins re<|uire hut little water, and the tents are seldom pitched near a 
wril or stream ; frecjuently as much as hidf a day's journey distiint. Suttum 
a««ured me that at this time of the year the camels need not be watered for two 
iiiuntlis, such is the richness of the grass of the Desert. 

s 2 


extinct, and perhaps more highly prized than any other of the 
Desert He had established his fame when but two years old. 
Ferhan, with the principal warriors of the Khurusseh*, had crossed 
the Euphrates to plunder the Aneyza. They were met by a supe- 
rior force, and were completely defeated. The best mares of the 
tribe fell into the hands of the enemy, and the bay colt alone, al- 
though followed by the fleetest horses of the Aneyza, distanced his 
pursuers.t Such noble qualities, united with the purest blood, 
rendered him worthy to be looked upon as the public property of 
the Shammar, and no sum of money would induce his owner to 
part with him. With a celebrated bay horse belonging to the 
Hamoud, a branch of the same tribe, he was set apart to propagate 
the race of the finest horses in Mesopotamia. In size he was 
small, but large in bone and of excellent proportions. On all 
sides I heard extraordinary instances of his powers of endurance 
and speed. 

Near the encampment of the Boraij was a group of mounds 
resembling in every respect those I have already described. The 
Bedouins call them Abou-Khaima. Are these singular ruins those 
of towns or of temples ? Their similarity of form, — a centre mound 
divided into a series of terraces, ascended by an inclined way or 
steps, and surrounded by equilateral walls, — would lead to the conjec- 
ture that they were fire temples, or vast altars, destined for Astral 
worship. It will be seen hereafter that the well-known ruin of 
the Birs Nimroud, on or near the site of ancient Babylon, is very 
nearly the same in shape. When I come to describe those remark- 
able remains, I will add some further observations upon their ori- 
ginal form. 

* Five sects or subdivisions of the great tribe of Shammar, renowned for 
their bravery and virtues, and supposed to be descended from the same stock, 
are so called. Their hereditary chief is Ferhan. To belong to the Khurusseh 
is an honorable distinction amongst the Shammar. The five sept^ are the 
Boraij, the Fedagha, the Alayian, the Ghishm, and the Huthba ; of this last, 
and of the family of Ahl-Mohammed, was the celebrated Bedouin chief Sofuk. 
The other clans forming the tribe of Shammar are the Abde, Assaiyah (divided 
into As-Subhi and Al-Aslam), Thabet, Hamoud, Theghavgheh, Ghatha, Dhi- 
rayrie, Ghufayla, and Azumail. All these tribes are again divided into numerous 
septs. The Assaiyah have nearly all crossed the Euphrates, owing to a blood 
feud with the rest of the Shanunar, and have united with the Aneyza. The 
Raffidi, however, a large section of the Aneyza, have lefl their kindred, and are 
now incorporated with the Shammar. 

f It is an error to suppose that the Bedouins never ride horses ; for sereral 
reasons, however, they seldom do so. 


The Bedouins who accompanied us galloped to and fro^ engage 
ing in mimic war with their long quivering spears^ until we reached 
the encampment of the Boraij. The tents were scattered far and 
wide over the pl^n ; for so they are pitched during this season of 
the year when the pastures are abundant, and no immediate danger 
is apprehended from hostile tribes. At other times they are ranged 
in parallel lines close together, the Sheikh always occupying 
the foremost place, facing the side from which the guest, as well as 
the enemy, is expected, that he may be the first to exercise hos- 
pitality, and the first to meet the foe. This position, however, varies 
in winter, when the tent must be closed completely on one side, 
according to the prevailing wind, so that when the wind changes, 
the whole camp suddenly, as it were, turns round, the last tent 
becoming the foremost. It is thought unmannerly to approach 
by the back, to step over the tent-ropes, or to ride towards the 
woman 8 compartment, which is almost always on the right. Dur- 
ing warm weather the whole canvass is raised on poles to allow the 
air to circulate freely, a curtain being used in the morning and 
evening to ward ofi* the rays of the sun. The Bedouin can tell 
at once, when drawing near to an encampment, the tent of the 
Sheikh. It is generally distinguished by its size, and frequently by 
the spears standing in front of it. If the stranger be not coming 
directly towards it, and wishes to be the guest of the chief, he goes 
out of his way, that on approaching he may ride at once to it with- 
out passing any other, as it is considered uncourteous and almost 
an insult to go by a man's tent without stopping and eating his 
bread. The owner of a tent has even the right to claim any one 
as his guest who jwisscs in front of it on entering an encampment. 

Kishwan, Suttum, Mijwell his younger brother, and the elders 
of the tribe, were standing before the tent ready to receive us. All 
the old caq)ets and coverlets of the family, and ragged enough 
they were, had been spread out for their guests. As we seated 
ourselves two sheep were slain before us for the feast ; a ceremony 
it would not have been considered sufficiently hospitable to perform 
previous to our arrival, as it might have Ijeeu doubtful whether 
the animals had been slain wholly for us. The chief men of 
the encampment collected round us, crouching in a wide circle 
on the grass. We talked of Arab i>olitic8 and Arab war, yhazous^ 
and Aneyza marcs stolen or carried off in battle by the Shanmiar. 
Huge wooden platters, heavy with the steaming messes of rice and 
boiled meat, were soon brought in and placed on the ground before 

s 3 


US. Immense lumps of fresh butter were then heaped upon them, 
and allowed to melt, the chief occasionally mixing and kneading 
the whole up together with his hands. When the dishes had cooled* 
the venerable Rishwan stood up in the centre of the tent, and called 
in a loud voice upon each person by name and in his turn to come to 
the feast. We fared first with a few of the principal Sheikhs. The 
most influential men were next summoned, each however resisting: 
the honor, and allowing himself to be dragged by Suttum and Mij- 
well to his place. The children, as is usual, were admitted last, and 
wound up the entertainment by a general scramble for the frag- 
ments and the bones. Neither 
Rishwan nor his sons would eat 
of the repast they had prepared, 
the laws of hospitality requiring 
that it should be left entirely to 
their guests. 

After we had eaten, I accom- 
panied Mrs. R. to the harem, 
where we found assembled the 
wives and daughters of Rishwan, 
of his sons, and of the elders of the 
tribe, who had met together to 
see the Frank lady. Amongst 
them were several of considerable 
beauty. The wife of Sahiman, 
the eldest of the three brothers, 

Arab Kose Ricg and liracelel of Silver. . j* . • • l j /» t_ 

was most distmguished tor her 
good looks. They were all dressed in the usual long blue shirt, 
and striped, or black, abba, with a black headkerchief, or keffieh, 
confined by a band of spun camel's wool. Massive rings of silver, 
adorned with gems and coral, hung from their noses f, and bracelets 

* It is considered exceedingly inhospitable amongst the Shammar to place 
a hot dish before guests, as they are obliged to eat quickly out of consider- 
ation for others, who are awaiting their turn, which they cannot do, unless 
the mess be cool, without burning their mouths, or wasting half their time pick- 
ing out the colder bits. On one occasion, Ferhan, the great chief of the Sham- 
mai*, and a large number of horsemen having alighted at my tent, I prepared a 
dinner for them. The Sheikh was afterwards heard to say that the Bey's feast 
was sumptuous, but that he had not treated his guests with proper hospitality, as 
the dishes were so hot nobody could eat his fill. 

f These are "the rings and nose jewels," which Isaiah (iii. 21.) describes as 
worn by the Jewish women. It is curious that no representation of them has 


in the same metal^ and also set with precious stones, encircled their 
wrists and ankles. Some wore necklaces of coins, coarse amber, 
agate, cornelian beads and cylinders, mostly Assyrian relics picked 
up amongst ruins after rain. These ornaments were confined to 
the unmarried girls, and to the youngest and prettiest wives, who 
on waxing old are obliged to transfer them to a more favored 

When Bedouin ladies leave their tents, or are on a march, 
they sometimes wear a black kerchief over the lower part of the 
face, showing only their sparkling eyes. Like the men they also 
use the keffieh, or head-kerchief, to cover their features. Their 
complexion is of a dark rich olive. Their eyes are large, almond- 
shaped, expressive, and of extraordinary brilliancy and fire. They 
suflfer their black, and luxuriant hair to fall in clusters of curls. 
Their carriage in youth is erect and graceful. They are able to 
bear much fatigue, and show great courage and spirit in mo- 
ments of difiiculty and danger. But their beauty is only the 
companion of extreme youth. With few exceptions, soon after 
twenty, and the birth of one or two children, they rapidly change 
into the most hideous of old ha^^s, the li«chtnincc-like bricrhtness 
of the eye alone surviving the general wreck. When young, the 
daughters and wives of the chiefs are well cared for; they move 
with the tribe in the covered camel-saddle, shaded by carpets from 
the rays of the sun. Daughters are looked upon in the Desert* as 
a source of strength and advantage, from the alliances they enable 
the father to make with powerful and influential chiefs, being fre- 
quently the means of healing feuds which have existed for many 

The children of Rishwan's family were naked, and, of course, 
dirty. One who, singularly enough for a Bedouin, had light flaxen 
hair and blue eyes, was on this account suj)po8ed to bear a striking 
likeness to Mr. C, and had, consequently, been nicknamed the 
Musauer^ the artist, a name by which he will probably be known 
for the rest of his days. 

Before we left the encampment Suttum led before me as a pre- 

hithorto l)eon found in the Astjrtiin sculptures. I take this opportunity of men- 
tiniiin;:, that I saw a finger-ring sculptured on a fragment at Khorsabad. 

• Amon;r*t the iuhabitanta of towns, a dauj^hter is considered a kind of tlaw 
in th." family, and the death of a girl, too frequently purj>o»ely brought about, if 
rarely a cause of grief. 

• 4 


sent a handsome grey colt, which was as usual returned with a 
request to take care of it until it was required^ the polite way to 
decline a gift of this nature.* 

Suttum having saddled his deloul was ready to accompany us 
on our journey. As he was to be for some time absent from his 
tents, he asked to take his wife with him, and I willingly consented. 
Kathaiyah was the sister of Suttam el Meekh, chief of the power- 
ful tribe of the Abde, one of the principal divisions of the Shammar. 
Although no longer young she still retained much of her early 
beauty. There was more than the usual Bedouin fire in her large 
black eyes, and her hair fell in many ringlets on her shoulders. Her 
temper was haughty and imperious, and she evidently held more 
sway over Suttum than he liked to acknowledge, or was quite con- 
sistent with his character as a warrior. He had married her from 
motives of policy, as cementing an useful alliance with a powerful 
tribe. She appears to have soon carried matters with a high hand, 
for poor Suttum had been compelled, almost immediately after his 
marriage, to send back a young and beautiful wife to her father^s 
tent. This prior claimant upon his affections was now on the 
Khabour with her tribe, and it was probably on this account that 
Kathaiyah, knowing the direction he was about to take, was so 
anxious to accompany her husband. She rode on the dromedary 
behind her lord, a comfortable seat having been made for her with 
a rug and a coverlet. • The Sheikh carried his hawk, Hattab, on his 
wrist, guiding the deloul by a short hooked stick held in the right 

* As this was known to be a mere matter of form with me, as I made it a rule 
never to accept presents of this kind, Suttum might have offered me bis bay 
colt) the most valuable horse amongst the Shammar, to increase the display of 
hospitality. The reason he did not was this, that although he knew I would 
have returned the horse, I might have expressed a wish to buy it, and hare 
offered a price. An offer of this kind would have at once injured the value of 
the animal in the eyes of the Bedouins, and its owner might have been ulti- 
mately compelled to sell it. On one occasion, when I was amongst the Shammar, 
at Al Hather, an Arab rode into my encampment on a beautiful grey colt. I 
was so much struck with the animal, that I at once expressed a wish to its rider 
to purchase it. He merely intimated that the sum I named was beneath the 
value. I increased it, but he only shook his head, and rode off. Nevertheless, 
the report spread amongst the tribes that he had bargained for the sale of his 
horse. Although of the best blood, the animal was looked upon with suspicion 
by the Bedouins, and the owner was, some months after, obliged to sell him at a 
lower price than I had bid, to a horse-dealer of Mosul I A knowledge of such 
little prejudices and customs is very necessary in dealing with the Arabs of the 
Desert, who are extremely sensitive, and easily offended. 

Chap. XI.] OH-EL-DHIBAK. 265 

hand. Khoraif^ his rediif, rode on this occasion a second drome- 
dary named Sheaila, with a Shammar Bedouin. 

The true Sinjar mountain ends about nine miles from Jedaila, 
the high ridge suddenly subsiding into low broken hills. From all 
parts of the plain it is a very beautiful object. Its limestone rocks, 
wooded here and there with dwarf oak, are of a rich golden color ; 
and the numberless ravines, which furrow its sides, form ribs of 
deep purple shadow. The western part of the Sinjar is inhabited 
by the Yezidi tribe of Kherraniyah. We rode over the plain in a 
jMrallel line to the mountain, and about seven or eight miles from 
it. Towards nightfall we skirted a ridge of very low hills rising to 
our left. They are called Alouvi and Yusuf Beg. 

The Desert abounded in the houbara, or middle-sized bustard, 
the bird usually hawked by the Arabs, and esteemed by them a 
great delicacy. Hattab had been principally trained to this game, 
and sat on the raised wrist of Suttum, scanning the plain with his 
piercing eye. He saw the crouching quarry long before we could 
distinguish it, and spreading his wings struggled to release himself 
from the tresses. Once free he made one straight, steady swoop 
towards the bustard, which rose to meet the coming foe, but was 
soon borne down in his sharp talons. A combat ensued, which was 
ended by a horseman riding up, substituting the lure for the game, 
and hooding the hawk, which was again placed on its master's wrist. 

Thus we rode joyously over the plain, night setting in before we 
could see the tents. No sound except the mournful note of the 
small desert owl, which has often misled the weary wanderer*, 
broke the deep silence, nor could we distinguish the distant fires 
usually marking the site of an encampment. Suttum, however, 
well knew where the Bedouins would halt, and about an hour after 
dark we heard the well-known voice of Dervish, and others of my 
workmen, who, anxious at our delay, had come out to seek us. 
The tents stood near a muddy pool of salt water, thick with loath- 
some living things and camels* dung. The Arabs call the place 
Oin-el-Dhiban, "the mother of flies," from the insects which 
swarm around it, and madden by their sting the camels and horses 
that drink at the stagnant water. 

Our encampment was full of Yezidis of the Kherraniyah tribe, 
who had ridden from the tents to see me, bringing presents of 
bheep, flour, and figs. They were at war, both with the Bedouins 

* lu note retembles the cry of the camel-driver, when leading the herds 
home at night, for which it ia frequently mbtaken. 


and the inhabitants of the northern side of the mountain. My 
large tent was soon crowded with guests. They squatted down on 
the ground in double ranks. For the last time I spoke on the 
advantage of peace and union amongst themselves^ and I exacted 
from them a solemn promise that they would meet the assembled 
tribes at the next great festival in the valley of Sheikh Adi, 
referring their differences in future to the decision of Hussein Bey, 
Sheikh Nasr, and the Cawals, instead of appealing to arms. I also 
reconciled them with the Bedouins, Suttum entering into an 
engagement for his tribe, and both parties agreeing to abstain from 
lifting each other's flocks when they should again meet in the 
pastures at the foot of the hills. The inhabitants of the Sinjar 
are too powerful and independent to pay kowee^^ or black- 
mail, to the Shammar, who, indeed, stand in much awe of their 
Yezidi enemies. They frequently raise their annual revenues, and 
enrich themselves almost entirely, at the expense of the Arabs. 
They watch their opportunity, when the tribes are migrating in 
the spring and autumn, and falling by night on their encamp- 
ments, plunder their tents, and drive off their cattle. Return- 
ing to the hills, they can defy in their fastnesses the revenge of 
the Bedouins. 

The Yezidis returned to their encampment late at night, but 
about a hundred of their horsemen were again with me before the 
tents were struck in the morning. They promised to fulfil the 
engagements entered into on the previous evening, and accom- 
panied me for some miles on our day's journey. Cawal Yusuf 
returned with them on his way back to Mosul. It was agreed that 
he should buy, at the annual auction, the Mokhatta, or revenues of 
the Sinjar f , and save the inhabitants from the tyranny and exac- 

* Literally, " strength-money :" the small tribes, who wander in the Desert^ 
and who inhabit the villages upon its edge, are obliged to place themselves 
under the protection of some powerful tribe to avoid being utterly destroyed. 
Each great division of the Shammar receives a present of money, sheep, camels, 
corn, or barley, from some tribe or another for this protection, which is always 
respected by the other branches of the tribe. Thus the Jehesh paid kowee to 
the Boraij, the Jebours of the Khabour to Ferhan (the hereditary chief of all 
the Shanunar), the people of Tel Afer to the Assaiyab. Should another branch 
of the Shanunar plunder, or injure, tribes thus paying kowee, their protectors 
are bound to make good, or revenge, their losses. 

f The revenues, t. e, the different taxes, tithes, &c. of some pashalics are sold 
by auction in the spring to the highest bidders, who pay the purchase-money, 
or give sufficient security, and collect the revenues themselves. This is a sys- 
tem which has contributed greatly to the ruin of some of the finest provinces in 
the empire. 


tions of the Turkish tax-gatherer. I wrote letters for him to the 
authorities of Mosul, recommending such an arrangement, as 
equally beneficial to the tranquillity of the mountain and the trea- 
sury of the Pasha.* 

After leaving Om-eUDhiban we entered an undulating country 
crossed by deep ravines, worn by the winter torrents. Veins of 
Mosul marble^ the alabaster of the Assyrian sculptures, occasionally 
appeared above the soil, interrupting the carpet of flowers spread 
over the face of the country. We drew near to the low hills into 
which the Sinjar subsides to the west. They are called Jeraiba, are 
well wooded with the ilex and dwarf oak, and abound in springs, 
near which the Shammar Bedouins encamp during the summer. 
Skirting them we found a beaten path, the first we had seen since 
entering the Desert, leading to the Jebour encampments on the 
Khabour, and we followed it for the rest of the day. It seemed 
irksome after wandering, as we had listed, over the boundless un- 
trodden plain, to be again confined to the narrow track of the foot- 
steps of man. However, the Bedouins declared that this pathway 
led to the best water, and we had committed ourselves to their 
guidance. Four hours' ride brought us to a scanty spring ; half 
an hour beyond we passed a second ; and in five and a half hours 
pitched the tents, for the rest of the day, near a small stream. All 
these springs are called Maalaga, and rising in the gypsum or Mosul 
marble, have a brackish and disagreeable taste. The Bedouins 
declare that, although unpalatable, they are exceedingly whole- 
some, and that even their marcs fatten on the waters of Jeraiba. 

Near our tents were the ruins of an ancient village surrounded 
by a wall. The spring once issued from the midst of them, but its 
source had been choked by rubbish, which, as some hours of day- 
light still remained, Hormuzd employed the Jebours and Tiayri in 
removing. Before sunset the sup[)ly and quality of the water had 
much improved. Suttum, who could not remain idle, wandered 
over the plain on his deloul with his hawk in search of game, and 
returned in the evening with a bag of bustards. He came to me 
before nightfall, somewhat downcast in look, as if a heavy weight 
were on his mind. At length, after various circumlocutions, he said 
that his wife would not sleep under the white tent which I had 

• Cawal Yuiuf Actually became the fanner of the revenues for a sum scarcely 
exrcfdin;; 350/. The inhabitants of the Sinjar were greatly pleased by this con- 
rejftion to one of their own faith, and were encouraged to cultivate the soil, and 
to aljstain from mutual aggressions. 


lent her, such luxuries being, she declared, only worthy of dty 
ladies, and altogether unbecoming the wife and daughter of a 
Bedouin. *^ So determined is she," said Suttum, ^^ in the matter, 
that, Billah I she deserted my bed last night and slept on the grass 
in the open air ; and now she swears she will leave me and return 
on foot to her kindred, unless I save her from the indignity of 
sleeping under a white tent." It was inconvenient to humour the 
fancies of the Arab lady, but as she was inexorable, I gave her a 
black Arab tent, used by the servants for a kitchen. Under this 
sheet of goat-hair canvass, open on all sides to the air, she said 
she could breathe freely, and feel again that she was a Bedouin. 

As the sun went down we could distinguish, in the extreme dis- 
tance, a black line marking the wooded banks of the Khabour, 
beyond which rose the dark hills of Abd-ul-Azeez. Columns of 
thin curling smoke showed that there were encampments of Be- 
douins between us and the river, but we could neither see their 
tents nor their cattle. The plains to the south of our encamp- 
ment was bounded by a range of low hills, called Bhoua and 

We crossed, during the following evening, a beautiful plain 
covered with sweet smelling flowers and aromatic herbs, and 
abounding in gazelles, hares, and bustards. We reached in about 
two hours the encampments, whose smoke we had seen during the 
preceding evening. They belonged to Bedouins of the Hamoud 
branch of the Shammar. The tents were pitched closely together 
in groups, as if the owners feared danger. We alighted at some 
distance from them to avoid entering them as guests. The chiefs 
soon came out to us, bringing camels' milk and bread. From them 
we learnt that they had lately plundered, on the high road between 
Mosul and Mardin, a caravan conveying, amongst other valuable 
loads, a large amount of government treasure. The Turkish au- 
thorities bad called upon Ferhan, as responsible chief of the Sham- 
mar, to restore the money, threatening, in case of refusal, an 
expedition against the whole tribe. The Hamoud, unwilling to 
part with their booty, and fearing lest the rest of the Shammar 
might compel them to do so in order to avoid a war, were now 
retreating towards the north, and, being strong in horsemen, had 
openly defied Ferhan. They had been joined by many families 
from the Assaiyah, who had crossed the Euphrates, and unit^ 
with the Aneyza on account of a blood feud with the Nejm. The 


Hmmoud are notorious for treachery and cruelty, and certainly the 
looks of those who gathered round us, many of them grotesquely 
attired in the plundered garments of the slaughtered Turkish sol- 
diery, did not belie their reputation. They fingered every article 
of dress we had on, to learn its texture and value. 

Leaving their encampments, we rode through vast herds of 
camels and flocks of sheep belonging to the tribe, and at length 
came in sight of the river. 

The Khabour flows through the richest pastures and meadows. 
Its banks were now covered with flowers of every hue, and its 
windings through the green pl^n were like the coils of a mighty 
serpent. I never beheld a more lovely scene. An uncontrollable 
emotion of joy seized all our party when they saw the end of 
their journey before them. The horsemen urged their horses to 
full speed ; the Jebours dancing in a circle, raised their colored 
kerchiefs on their spears, and shouted their war cry, Hormuzd 
leading the chorus ; the Tiyari sang their mountain songs and fired 
their muskets into the air. 

Trees in full leaf lined the water's edge. From amongst them 
issued a body of mounted Arabs. As they drew nigh we recog- 
nised at their head Mohammed Emin, the Jebour Sheikh, and his 
sons, who had come out from tlicir tents to welcome us. We dis- 
mounted to embrace, and to exchange the usual salutations, and 
then rode onwards, through a mass of flowers, reaching high above 
the horses' knees, and such as I had never before seen, even in the 
roost fertile parts of the Mesopotiunian wilderness. 

The tents of the chief were j)itched under the ruins of Arban, 
and on the right or northern bank of the river, which was not at 
this time fordable. As we drew near to them, after a ride of 
nearly two hours, Mohammed Emin pointed in triumph to the 
sculptures, which were the principal objects of my visit. They 
BtocKl a little above the water's edge, at the base of a mound of 
considerable size. We had passed several tels and the double banks 
of ancient canals, showing that we were still amidst the remains 
of ancient civilisation. Flocks of sheep and herds of camels 
were spread over the meadows on both sides of the river. They 
belonged to the Jebours, and to a part of the Boraij tribe under 
Mo^hamis, a distinguished Arab warrior, and the uncle of Suttum. 
Buffaloes and cattle tended by the Sherabbeen and Huggara, small 
clans (Kisturing under the protection of Mohammed Emin, stood 


lazily in the long grass^ or sought refuge in the stream from the 
flies and noonday heat. 

At length we stopped opposite to the encampment of the Jebour 
Sheikh, but it was too late to cross the river, some time being 
required to make ready the rafts. We raised our tents, therefore, 
for the night on the southern bank. They were soon filled by a 
motley group of Boraij, Hamoud, Assiuyah, and Jebour Arabs. 
Moghamis himself came shortly after our arrival, bringing me as a 
present a well-trained hawk and some bustards, the fruits of his 
morning's sport. The falcon was duly placed on his stand in the 
centre of the spacious tent, and remained during the rest of my 
sojourn in the East a member of my establishment. His name 
was Fawaz, and he was a native of the hills of Makhhoul, near 
Tekrit, celebrated for their breed of hawks. He was of the species 
called "chark," and had been given by Sadoun-el-Mustafa, the 
chief of the great tribe of Obeid, to Ferhan, the sheikh of the 
Sham mar, who had bestowed him in token of friendship on 

A Sheikh of the Hamoud also brought us a wild ass-colt, scarcely 
two months old, which had been caught whilst following its dam, 
and had been since fed upon camel's milk.* Indeed, nearly all 

* I am indebted to Mr. Grey for the following remarks on the skin of a young 
wild ass brought by me to this country : — " It is, I have no doubt, the wild 
ass, or onager of the ancients. It is evidently the same as the ass without a 
stripe, which has been described by several authors as the Eqaus Hemionns, 
found in Cutch, and quite distinct from the Kquus Hemionus described by 
Pallas as found in the snowy mountains of Asia, and called by Mr. Hodgson 
Eguits Kiang and E. polyodon. The wild ass, or onager, was one of the desiderata 
of zoologists, as it was only described from some specimens seen at a distance, 
and not from the examination of specimens, and is characterised by being said 
to have larger and more acute ears than the Hemione of Pallas. I do not find 
this to be the case "in the young specimen you have sent to the Museum. The 
great difference between the wild ass of the plains of Mesopotamia and the 
Hemione of Tibet is, that the former is a yellowish white, and the latter a bright 
bay in summer, both being greyish white in winter. There is also some differ- 
ence in the forms of the skull, and in the disposal of the hole for the transmis- 
sion of the bloodvessels and nerves of the face." The Arabs of Mesopotamia 
frequently capture this beautiful animal when young, and generally kill it at 
once for food. It is almost impossible to take it when full grown. The colt 
mentioned in the text died before we returned to Mosul. A second, after living 
eight or nine months, also died ; and a third met with the same fate. I was 
desirous of sending a live specimen to England, but thus failed in all my at- 
tempts to rear one. They became very playful and docile. That which I had 
at Mosul followed like a dog. 

Cbat. XI.] 



those who came to my tent had acme offering, either sheep, milk, 
curds, or butter; even the Arab boys had caught for us the 
elegant jerboa, which burrows in vast numbers on the banks of 
the river. Suitable presents were made in return. Dinner was 
cooked for all our guests, and we celebrated our first night on the 
Khabour by general festivities. 




On tbe morning after our arrival io front of the encampment of 
Sheikh Mohammed Emin we crossed the Khabour on a small raft, 
and pitched our tents on its right, or northern, bank. I found tbe 
ruins to conaist of a large artificial mound of irregular shape, 


washed, and indeed partly carried away by the river which was 
gradually undermining the perpendicular cliff left by the falling 
earth. The Jebours were encamped to the west of it. I chose 
for our tents a recess, like an amphitheatre, facing the stream. 
We were thus surrounded and protected on all sides. Be- 
hind us and to the east rose the mound, and to the west were the 
family and dependents of Mohammed Emin. In the Desert, beyond 
the ruins, were scattered far and wide the tents of the Jebours, 
and of several Arab tribes who had placed themselves under 
their protection; the Sherabeen, wandering keepers of herds of 
buffaloes ; the Buggara, driven by the incursions of the Aneyza 
from their pasture grounds at Ras-al-Ain (the source of the 
Khabour) ; and some families of the Jays, a large clan residing in 
the district of Orfa, whose sheikh having quarrelled with his 
brother chiefs had now joined Mohammed Emin. From the top of 
the mound the eye ranged over a level country bright with flowers, 
and spotted with black tents, and innumerable flocks of sheep 
and camels. During our stay at Arban the color of these great 
plains was undergoing a continual change. After being for some 
days of a golden yellow, a new family of flowers would spring up, 
and it would turn almost in a night to a bright scarlet, which 
would again as suddenly give way to the deepest blue. Then the 
meadows would be mottled with various hues, or would put on the 
emerald green of the most luxuriant of pastures. The glowing de- 
scriptions I had so frequently received from the Bedouins of the 
beauty and fertility of the banks of the Khabour were more than 
realised. The Arabs boast that its meadows bear three distinct 
crops of gra?8 during the year, and the wandering tribes look upon 
its wooded banks and constant greensward as a paradise during the 
iiinniner months, where man can enjoy a cool shade, and beast can 
find fresh and tender herbs, whilst all around is yellow, parched, 
and }«:ipless. 

In the extreme distance, to the east of us, rose a solitary conical 
elevation, called by the Arabs, Koukab. In front, to the south, 
was the l>eautiful hill of the Sinjar, ever varying in color and in 
outline as the declining sun left fresh shadows on its furrowed sides. 
Ikhind us, and not far distant, was the low, wooded range of Abd- 
ul- A zeez. Artificial mounds, smaller in size than Arban, rose here 
and there alx)ve the thin belt of trees and shrubs skirting the 
river hank. 

1 had brought with me a tent large enough to hold full two 
hundred persons, and intended as a " musccf," or place of reception. 



always open to the wayfarer and the Arab visitor ; for the first 
duty of a traveller wishing to mix with true Bedouins, and to gain 
an influence over them, is the exercise of hospitality. This great 
pavilion was pitched in the centre of ray encampment, with its en- 
trance facing the river. To the right were the tents of the Cawass 
and servants ; one fitted up expressly for the Doctor to receive 
patients, of whom there was no lack at all times, and the black 
Arab tent of Kathaiyah, vfho would not mix with the Jebours. 
To the left were those of my fellow travellers, and about 200 yards 
beyond, near the excavations, my own private tent, to which I 
retired during the day, when wishing to be undisturbed, and to 
which the Arabs were not admitted. In it, also, we usually break- 
fasted and dined, except when there were any Arab guests of dis- 
tinction with whom it was necessary to eat bread. In front of our 
encampment, and between it and the river, was a small lawn, on 
which were picketed our horses. Suttum and Mohammed Emin 
usually eat with us, and soon became perfectly reconciled to knives 
and forks, and the other restraints of civilised life. Suttum's tact 
and intelligence were indeed remarkable. Nothing escaped his 
hawk- like eye. A few hours had enabled him to form a correct 
estimate of the character of each one of the party, and he had 
detected peculiarities which might have escaped the notice of the 
most observant European. The most polished Turk would have 
been far less at home in the society of ladies, and during the whole 
of our journey he never committed a breach of manners, only ac- 
quired after a few hours' residence with us. As a companion he 
was delightful, — full of anecdote, of unclouded spirits, acquainted 
with the history of every Bedouin tribe, their politics and their 
wars, and intimate with every part of the Desert, its productions 
and its inhabitants. Many happy hours I spent with him, seated, 
after the sun went down, on a mound overlooking the great plain 
and the winding river, listening to the rich flow of his graceful 
Bedouin dialect, to his eloquent stories of Arab life, and to his 
animated descriptions of forays, wars, and single combats. 

Mohammed Emin, the Sheikh of the Jebours, was a good-na- 
tured portly Arab, in intelligence greatly inferior to Suttum, and 
wanting many of the qualities of the pure Bedouin. During our in- 
tercourse I had every reason to be satisfied with his hospitality and 
the cordial aid he afforded me. His chief fault was a habit of begging 
for every thing. Always willing to give he was equally ready to 
receive. In this respect, however, all Arabs are alike, and when 
the habit is understood it is no longer a source of inconvenience, 
as on a refusal no offence is taken. The- Jebour chief was a com- 

Cmap.xii.] sculptures at arban. 275 

plete patriarch in his tribe, having no less than sixteen children, 
of whom six sons were horsemen and the owners of mares. The 
youngest, a boy of four years old named Sultan, was his favorite. 
His usual costume consisted simply of a red Turkish skull cap, or 
fez, on his head. He scarcely ever left his father, who always 
brought the child with him when he came to our tent. He was 
as handsome and dirty as the best of Arab children. His mother, 
who had recently died, was the beautiful sister of Abd-rubbou. I 
chanced to be her brother's guest when the news of her death was 
brought to him. An Arab of the tribe, weary and wayworn, entered 
the tent and seated himself without giving the usual salutation ; all 
present knew that he had come from the Khabour and from distant 
friends. His silence argued evil tidings. By an indirect remark, 
inunediately understood, he told his errand to one who sat next 
him, and who in turn whispered it to Sheikh Ibrahim, the chief's 
uncle. The old man said aloud, with a sigh, ** It b the will and 
mercy of God ; she is not dead but released I " Abd-rubbou at once 
understood of whom he spake. He arose and went forth, and the 
wailing of the mother and of the women soon issued from the inner 
recesses of the tent. 

We were for a day or two objects of curiosity to the Arabs who 
assembled in crowds around our tents. Having never before seen 
an European, it was natural that they should hasten to examine 
the strangers. They soon, however, became used to us, and things 
went on as usual. It is a circumstance well worthy of mention, 
an<l most strongly in favor of the natural integrity of the Arab 
when his guests are concerned, that during the whole of our jour- 
ney iiiid our re*»idencc on the Khabour, although we lived in open 
tents, and projnirty of all kinds was scattered about, we had not 
to complain of a single loss from theft. 

My first care, after crossing to Arban, was to examine the sculp- 
tures described by the Arabs. The river having gradually worn 
away the mound had, during the recent floods, left uncovered a 
pair of winged human-headed bulls, some six feet above the water's 
edge, and full fifty beneath the level of the ruin. Only the fore- 
part of these figures had been exposed to view, and Mohammed 
Emin would n(>t allow any of the soil to be removed before my 
arrival. The earth was soon cleared away, and I found them to 
l>c of a coarse limestone, not exceeding 5 J feet in height by 
4 J in length. Between them was a pavement slab of the same 
material. They resembled in general fonn the well-known wingctl 
bulls of Nineveh, but in the style of art they di fibred consider- 

T 2 



[ubap. xir 

ftbly from them. The ontline and treatment was bold and angu- 
lar, with an archaic feeling convejnng the imprestiion of great 
antiquity. They bore the same relation to the more delicately 
finished and highly ornamented sculptures of Nimroud, as the 
earliest remains of Greek art do to the esquieite monuments 
of Phidias and Praxiteles. The human features were unfortu- 
nately much injured, but such parts as rcmnined were sufficient to 
ehow that the countenance had a peculiar character, diSering from 
the Assyrian type. The sockets of the eyes were deeply sunk, 
probably to receive the white and 
the ball of the eye In ivory or glass. 
The nose was flat and large, and 
the lips thick and overhanging like 
those of a negro. Human ears 
were attached to the bead, and 
bull's ears to the homed cap, 
which was low and square at the 
top, not high and ornamented like 
those of Khorsabad and Kouyun- 
jik, nor rounded like those of 
Nimroud, The hair was elabo- 
rately curled, as in the pure As- 
sy rian sculptures, though more 
rudely carved. The wings were 
small in proportion to the size of 
the body, and had not the ma- 
jestic spread of those of the bulla 
that adorned the palaces of Nine- 
veh. Above the figure were the 
following characters*, which are 
r™ni vi™ Df nio(,d B^i •> Aii>u> purely Assyrian. 

It would appear from them that the sculptures belonged to the 
palace of a king whose name has been found on no other monu- 
ment. No titles are attached to it, not even that of "king; " 
nor is the country over which he reigned mentioned ; so that 
some doubt may exist as to whether it really be a royal name. 

The great accumulation of earth above these sculptures proves 
that, since the destruction of the edifice in which they stood, other 

* Tbe last letter is \a one instance omitted. For a drawing or the bull see 
wood* cut at the end of the chapter. 


habitations have been raised upon its ruins. Arban, indeed, is 
mentioned by the Arab geographers as a flourishing citj, in a 
singularly fertile district of the Khabour. Part of a minaret, whose 
walls were cased with colored tiles, and ornamented with cufic in- 
scriptions in relief, like that of the Sinjar, and the foundations of 
buildings, are still seen on the mound ; and at its foot, on the 
western side, are the remains of a bridge which once spanned 
the stream. But the river has changed its course. The piers, 
adorned with elegantly shaped arabesque characters, are now on 
the dry land. 

I will describe, at once, the results of the excavations carried on 
during the three weeks our tents were pitched at Arban. To please 
the Jebour Sheikh, and to keep around our encampment, for greater 
security, a body of armed men, when the tribe changed their pas- 
tures, I hired about fifty of Mohammed Emin's Arabs, and placed 
them in parties with the workmen who had accompanied me from 
Mosul. Tunnels were opened behind the bulls already uncovered, 
and in various parts of the ruins on the same level. Trenches 
were also dug into the surface of the mound. 

Behind the bulls were found various Assyrian relics; amongst 
them a copper bell, like those from Nimroud, and fragments of 
bricks with arrow-headed characters painted yellow with white 
outlines, upon a pale green ground. In other parts of the mound 
were discovered glass and pottery, some Assyrian, others of a 
more doubtful character. Several fragments of earthenware, 
omanientcd with flowers and scrollwork, and highly glazed, had 
Qj^.-'umcd the brilliant and varied iridescence of ancient glass.* 

It was natural to conclude, from the usual architectural arrange- 
ment of Assyrian edifices, that the two bulls described stood at an 
entrance to a hall, or chamber. We searched in vfun for the remains 
of wallrt, although digging for three days to the right and left of 
the 8ciilj)tures, a work of considerable difficulty in consequence of 
tlie immense heap of superincumbent earth. I then directed a 
tunnel to be carried towards the centre of the mound, hoping to 
find a corrc8|>onding doorway opposite. I was not disappointed. 
On the fifth day a similar pair of winged !)ulls were discovered. 
Thoy were ef the same size, and inscribed with the same cha- 
racters. A part of one having been originally broken off', either in 
carving the sculpture or in moving it, a fresh piece of stone had 

• These relics are now in the British Museum. 

T 8 




been carefully fitted into ite place. I also dug to the right and 
left of these sculptures for remainB of walls, but without auccese, 
and then resumed the tuDoelUng towards the centre of the mound. 
Id a few days a lion, with extended jaws, sculptured in the same 
coarse limestone, and in the same bold archaic style as the bulls, 
was discovered. It had five lege, and the tail had the claw at 

the end, as in the Nineveh bas-reliefs. In height it was nearly 
the same as the bulls. I searched in vain for the one which must 
have formed the opposite side of the doorway. 

With the exception of these sculptures no remains of building 
were found in this part of the mound. In another tunnel, opened 
at some distance from the bulls, half of a. human figure in relief 
was discovered." The face was in full. One hand grasped a sword 
or dagger ; the other held some object to the breJiet. The hair and 
beard were long and Sowing, and ornamented with a profusion of 

* The b«igbt of thi« figment was 5 fl. S io. 

Cbap. XIL] 



cnrls as in the Assyiiiio bu-reliefa. The head-dress appeared to 
coDuat of a kind of circukr helmet, ending in a sharp point. The 
treatment and style marked the 
sculpture to be of the same period 
as the bull and lion. 

Such were the sculptures dis- 
covered in the mound of Arban. 
Amongst smaller objects of dif- 
ferent periods were some of consi- 
derable interest, jars, vases, funeral 
urns, highly-glazed pottery, and 
fragments of glass. In a trench, on 
the south side of the ruin, was found 
a small green and white bottle, in- 
scribed with Chinese characters. A 
simitar relic was brought to me sub- 
sequently by an Arab from a barrow 
in the neighbourhood. Such bottles 
have been discovered in Egyptian 
tombs, and considerable doubt exists 
as to their antiquity, and as to the 
date and manner of their importa- 
tion into Egyjit.* The best opinion now is that they are compara- 
tively modern, and that they were probably brought by the Arabs, 
iu tliu eighth or ninth century, from the kingdoms of the for East, 
with which they had at that period extensive coni- 
mcrciul intercourse. Bottles precisely similar are 
still offered for ealc in the bazars at Cairo, and are 
uM-d to bold the kohl, or powder for staining the 
eyes of ladies. 

A jar, about four feet high, in coarse half-baked 
clay, was dug out of the centre of the mound. The 
handles were formed by rudely-<]esigned human 
figurcH, and the sides covered with grotesque rcpre- 
Bctitatiuns of men and animals, and arabesque orna- 
ments in relief. 
Vases of the same material, ornamented with figures, are frc- 
qiicnlly discovered in digging the foundations of houses in the 

* IVIlkinwin, in liii " Ancient E^ptiuis," vol. iii. p. 107^ givit ■ Jrawinp aft 
IxitxU- ]ini'i»i-ly Hniilir to ibat Jctcribol in the text, Rni) mvnlion* onu wliii-b, 
arn.nllrix to Kifcllini, had been ditcoTentl ina/trfriinuJy unnpvniil tomli, be- 
licvi-<l r<> Iw of ibe 18tb dj'nMlj ; bul there appean tu Im: L-oojiderable tluubt on 
tbc lubjecU 

T -I 


modern town of Moeul. They appear to belong to a comparatively 
recent period, later probably than the Christian era, but previous 
to the Arab occupation. As they have upon them human figures, 
dressed in a peculiar costume, consisting of a high cap and embroi- 
dered robes, I should attribute them to the 
Persians. A vase, Bimilar in size and 
shape to that of Arban, and also covered 
with grotesque representations of mon- " 
strous animals, the finest specimen I have 
seen of this class of antiquities, was found 
beneath the foundations of the very an- 
cient Cbaldcean church of Meakinta at 
Mosul, when that edifice was pulled down 
and rebuilt two years ago." It was g^ven 
to me by the Catholic ClmUlieim Patriarch, 
to whom it belonged as chief of the com- 
munity, but was unfortunately destroyed, 
witli other interesting relics, by the Arabs, 
m^ in p™„t (r«n u«i4i, ^[jQ plundered a raft laden with antiqui- 
ties, on its way to Baglidad, after my return to Europe. 

Amongst other relics discovered at Arban were, a large copper 
ring, apparently Assyrian; an ornament in earthenware, resem- 
bling the pine-cone of the Assyrian eculptures ; a bull's head in 
terracotta; fragments of painted bricks, probably of the same 
period ; and several Egyptian scai-abtei. It is singular that en- 
graved atones and scaraba bearing Egyptian devices, and in some 
instances even royal cartouches, should have been 
found on tlie banks of the Khabour. Similar ob- 
jects were subsequently dug up at Nimroud, and 
brought to me by the Arabs from various ruina in 
Assyria. I will take this opportunity of adding the 
following remarks by Mr. Birch on those deposited 
in the British Museum. 

* In lojing tbe foundations of the new church, the tombs of two of the 
early Chaldt^an patnarclis were discovered nmongst other objects of interest. 
The bodies, being still preserved, were, of course, canonisetl at once, and turned 
inio a source of profit by the bishop, tbe faithful paying a small sum for permis- 
sion to touch tbe sacred relics. One hod been bead of the Oriental church be- 
fore tbe Arab invasioa. By his side was bis crozier ending in a silver crook, 
on which woa an inscription in Chaldee letters. The second was of a rather 
lat«r period. His crozier was of ebony, surmounted by a ball of glass, and in- 
scribed with the earliest cufic characters. I examined these interesting relics 
immediately after their discovery. 

Cmap. XII.] 





1. A scarabaeus, having on the base Ba^men-chepr^ 
the prenomen of Thothmes III. Beneath is a scarab 
between two feathers, placed on the basket tvb, 

2. A scarabaeus in dark steaschist, with the figure 
of the sphinx (the sun), and an emblem between the 
forepaws of the monster. The sphinx constantly ap- 
pears on the scarabffii of Tliothmes III., and it is pro- 
bably to this monarch that the one here described 
belongs.'^ After the sphinx on this scarab, are the 
titles of the king, " the sun placer of creation," of 
Thothmes III. 

3. Small scarabaeus of white steaschist, with a 
brownish hue ; reads Neter nefer nehta Ra-neb'tnOj 
'* The good God, the Lord of the earth, the sun, the 
Lord of truth, rising in all lands.** This is of 
AmenophisIII., one of the last kings of the eighteenth 
dynasty, who flourished about the fifleenth century 
B. c, and who records amongst his conquests As-su- 
ru (Assyria), Naharaina (Mesopotamia), the Saenkar 
(Shinar or Sinjar), and Fattana (Fadan Aram). The 
expression, '* who rises in all lands,** refers to the solar 
character of the king, and to his universal dominion. 

4. Scarabaeus in white steaschist, with an abridged 
form of the prenomen of Thothmes III., Ra men 
cheper ai en Amen, " The sun-placer of creation, the 
type of Ammon.*' This monarch was the greatest 
monarch of the eighteenth dynasty, and conquered 
Naharaina an<l the Saenkar, besides receiving tribute 
from Babel or Babjion and Assyria. 

5. Scarabseus in pale white steaschist, with three 
emblems that cannot well be explained. They are 
the 8un*s disk, the ostrich feather, the uncus, and the 
guitar nabluim. They may mean " Truth the good 
goddess,*' or ** lady/* or ma ne/er, " good and true.*' 

(>. Scarabieus in the same substance, with a motto 
of doubtful meaning. 

7. Scarabs, with a hawk, and God holding the 
emblem of life, ancl the words ma nefer, ** good and 
true.*' The meaning very doubtful. 

* On many icarab«i in the British Museum, and on those figured by Kla« 
prf>th fn»m the Palin Collection, in I.eenian*8 Monuments, and in the ** Descrip« 
ti<»n do l*Kgypte,** Thothmes is represented as a sphinx treading foreign prisoners 
under him. 





8. A scaratens, with a hawk-hfiaded gfTphoo, 
emblem of Menta^Ra^ or Man. Betusd tibe mon- 
ster ik ihe goddeas Sati, or Nuben. Tka hawk- 
headed lion b one of the shapes into wludi the jmui 
turns himself in the hours of the daj. It ii a com- 
mon emblem in the Aranusan religion. 

9. ScarabsBus, with hawk-headed gryphon, hs^g 
before it the ur»us and the **nMa^ or guitar, 
hieroglyphic of good. Above it are the hierogl jphs 
"Lord of the earth." 

10. Snukll scarabsBus in daik iteasohist, with a 
man in adoration to a king or deity, wearing the 
crown of the upper country, and holding in the left 
hand a lotus flower. Between them is the embiem 
of life. 

11. ScarabsBus, with the hawk-headed scarabssni, 
emblem of Ba^ekeper^ '* the Creator Sun,** flying 
with expanded wings, four in number, which do not 
appear in Egyptian mythology till after the time of 
the Persians, when the gods assume a more Pan- 
theistic form. Such a representation of the son, for 
instance, is found on the Torso Borgfaese. 

It will be obaerved that most of the Egyptian relics discovered 
in the Assyrian ruins are of the time of the 18th Egyptian dy- 
nasty, or of the 16th century before Christ; a period when, as we 
learn from Egyptian monuments, there was a close connection be- 
tween Assyria and Egypt. 

Seyeral tombs were also found in the ruins, consisting prindpally 
of boxes, or sarcophagi, of earthenware, like those existing above 
the Assyrian palaces near Mosul. Some, however, were formed by 
two large earthen jars, like the common Eastern vessel for holding 
oil, laid horizontally, and joined mouth to mouth. These terra- 
cotta coffins appear to be of the same period as those found in 
all the great ruins on the banks of the rivers of Mesopotamia, 
and are not Assyrian.* They contained human remains turned to 
dust, with the exception of the skull and a few of the larger bones, 
and generally three or four urns of highly-glazed blue pottery. 

Fewer remains and objects of antiquity were discovered in the 
mounds on the Khabour than I had anticipated. They were suffi- 
cient, however, to prove that the ruins are, on the whole, of the 
same character as those on the banks of the Tigris. That the 
Assyrian empire at one time embraced the whole of Mesopotamia, 
including the country watered by the Khabour, there can be no 

* Most of the small objects described in the text are now in the Britbh Museum, 


doubt, as indeed b shown by the inscriptions on the monuments of 
Nineveh. Whether the sculptures at Arban belong to the period of 
Assyrian domination, or to a distinct nation afterwards conquered, 
or whether they may be looked upon as cotemporary with, or more 
ancient than, the bas-reliefs of Nimroud, are questions not so eanly 
answered. The archaic character of the treatment and dengn, the 
peculiar form of the features, the rude though forcible delineation 
of the muscles, and the simplicity of the detuls, certainly convey 
the impression of greater antiquity than any monuments hitherto 
discovered in Assyria Proper.* 

A deep interest, at the same time, attaches to these remains from 
the site they occupy. To the Chebar were transported by the 
Assyrian king, after the destruction of Samaria, the captive chil- 
dren of Israel, and on its banks " the heavens were opened " to 
Ezekiel, and ** he saw visions of God," and spake his prophecies to 
his brother exiles.t Around Arban may have been jutched the 
tents of the sorrowing Jews, as those of the Arabs were during 
my visit. To the same pastures they led their sheep, and they 
drank of the same waters. Then the banks of the river were 
covered with towns and villages, and a palace-iemple still stood 
on the mound, reflected in the transparent stream. We have, 
however, but one name connected with the Elbabour recorded 
in Scripture, that of Tel- Abib, *^ the mound of Abib, or, of the 
heaps of ears of com," but whether it applies to a town, or to 
a simple artificial elevation, such as still abound, and are still 
called ** tela," is a matter of doubt. I sought in vain for some 
trace of the word amongst the names now given by the wandering 
Arab to the various ruins on the Khabour and its confluents.^ 

* A lion very similar to that discovered at Arban, though more colossal 
in its dimensions, exists near Serong. (Chesne/s Expedition, yoL L p. 114.) 

t 2 Kings, xvii. 6. Ezck. i. 1. In the Hebrew text the name of this river 
is spelt in two different ways. In Kings we have *^3n, Khabour, answering 
exactly to the Chaboros of ike Greeks and Romans, and the Khabour of the 
Arabs. In Ezekiel it is written "^^3^ Kebar. There is no reason, however, to 
doubt that the same river is meant. 

X The name occurs in Ezekiel, iii. 15. *' Then I came to them of the captivity 
at Tel' Abib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar.** In the Thcodosian tablet we find 
ThaUaba on the Khabour, with which it may possibly be identified. (Illustrated 
Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, published by Charles Knight, a 
very useful and well-digested summary, in note to word.) It is poaaible that 
Arbonad, a name apparently given to the Khabour in Judith, ii. 24., may be 
connected with Arban : however, it is not quite clear what river is really meant, 
as there appears to be some confusion in the geographical details. The cities on 
the Khabour, mentioned by the Arab geographers, are Karkiaia (Ciroesiom, at 
the junction of the river with the Euphrates), Maketeen (of which I could find 
no trace), Arban, and Khabour. I have not been able to diacover the site of 




We know that Jews atill lingered in the cities of the Kba- 
bour until long after the Arab invasion; and we may perhaps 
recognise in the Jewish communities of Ras-al-Ain, at the sources 
of the river, and of Karkisia, or Carchemish, at its confluence 
with the Euphrates, visited and described hy Benjamin of Tudela, 
in the latter end of the twelfth century of the Christian tera, the 
descendants of the captive Israelites. 

But the hand of Ume has long since swept even this remnant 
away, with the busy crowds which thronged the banks of the river. 
From its mouth to its source, from Carchemish to Ras-al-Ain, there 
is now no single permanent human habitation on the Khabour. Its 
Hch meadows and its deaerted ruins are alike become the encamp- 
ing places of the wandering Arab. 

■nj ruin of the Mime name as the river. Earklaia, when Tisited in the twelfth 
century by BenjamiD of Tuilela, contained about SCO Jewish iDhabitants, under 
two Rabbia. According to Ibn Haukal, it was eurrouuded by gardens and 
cultivated lands. The spot is now inliabited hy a tribe of Arabs. 



THB raoDrci or tbub rLocKi. — DtiiAau AMOKoar tbu 


»• or aBUMHAMI. — A TKAI<ITIO!(. — JB 

Is the preceding chapter I have given an acconnt of the dia- 
covcrics nindc in the ruins of Arban, I will now add a few notes 
of our residence on the Khabour. A sketch of Arab life, and a 
description of a country not previously Tinted by European tra- 
vellers, may be new and not uninteresting to my readers. 

During the time we dwelt at Arban, we were the gueeta and 
under the prutccUon of Mohammed Emin, the Sheikh of the 
Jebours. On the day we crossed the river, he celebrated our 
arrival by a fcnat after the Arab fashion, to which the notables of 
the tribe were invited. Hlieep, as usual, wen) boiled and served 
up piecemeal in large wooden bowls, with • mats of batter and 


rately heated over a low fire of brushwood or camels* dung. The 
lumps of dough are rolled, on a wooden platter, into thin cakes, 
a foot or more in diameter, and laid by means of the roller upon 
the iron. They are baked in a very short time, and should be 
eaten hot.* The Kurds, whose flour is far whiter and more care- 
fully prepared than that of the Arabs, roll the dough into large 
cakes, scarcely thicker than a sheet of paper. When carefully 
baked by the same process, it becomes crisp and exceedingly agree- 
able to the taste. The Arab tribes, that remain for many days 
in one place, make rude ovens by digging a hole about three 
feet deep, shaping it like a reversed funnel, and plastering it with 
mud. They heat it by burning brushwood within, and then stick 
the lumps of dough, pressed into small cakes about half an inch 
thick, to file sides with the hand. The bread is ready in two 
or three minutes. When horsemen go on an expedition, they 
either carry with them the thin bread first described, or a bag of 
flour, which, when they come to water, they moisten and knead 
on their cloaks, and then bake by covering the balls of dough with 
hot ashes. All Arab bread is unleavened. 

If a Bedouin tribe be moving in great haste before an enemy, and 
should be unable to stop for many hours, or be making a forced 
march to avoid pursuit over a desert where the wells are very dis- 
tant from each other, the women sometimes prepare bread whilst 
riding on camels. The fire is then lighted in an earthen vesseL 
One woman kneads the flour, a second rolls out the dough, and 
a third bakes, boys or women on foot passing the materials, as re- 
quired, from one to the other. But it is very rare that the Be- 
douins are obliged to have recourse to this process, and I have only 
once witnessed it. 

The fuel used by the Arabs consists chiefly of the dwarf 
shrubs, growing in most parts of the Desert, of dry grass and of 
camels' dung. They frequently carry bags of the latter with them 
when in summer they march over very arid tracts. On the banks 
of the great rivers of Mesopotamia, the tamarisk and other trees 
furnish them with abundant firewood. They are entirely dependent 

* See woodcut at the head of this chapter. Such was probably the process 
of making bread mentioned in 2 Sam. xiii. 8, 9. " So Tamar went to her brother 
Amnon's house ; and he was laid down. And she took flour and kneaded it, and 
made cakes in his sights and did bake the cakes. And she took a pun and poured 
them out before him." It will be observed that the bread was made at once, 
without leaven ; such also was probably the bread that Abraham commanded 
Sai-ah to make for the three angels. (Gen. xviii. 6.) 

Cbap.xiii.] food of tu£ bedouins. 289 

for their supplies of wheat upon the villages on the borders of the 
Desert, or on the sedentary Arabs, who, whilst living in tents, 
cultivate the soil. Sometimes a tribe is fortunate enough to plunder 
a caravan laden with corn, or to sack the granaries of a village; 
they have then enough to satisfy their wants for some months. 
But the Bedouins usually draw near to the towns and cultivated 
districts soon after the harvest, to lay in their stock of grain. A 
party of men and women, chosen by their companions, then take 
with them money, or objects for sale or exchange, and drive the 
camels to the villages, where they load them and return to their 
tents. Latterly a new and very extensive trade has been opened 
with the Bedouins for the wool of their sheep, much prized for 
its superior quality in European markets. As the time for shear- 
ing is soon after the harvest, the Arabs have ready means of ob- 
taining their supplies, as well as of making a little money, and 
buying finery and arms. 

Nearly the whole revenue of an Arab Sheikh, whatever it may 
be, is laid out in com, rice, and other provisions. The quantity of 
food consumed in the tents of some of the great chiefs of the Be- 
douins is very considerable. Almost every traveller who passes the 
encampment eats bread with the Sheikh, and there are generally 
many guests dwelling under his canvas. In times of difficulty or 
scarcity, moreover, the whole tribe frequently expects to be fed by 
him, and he considers himself bound, even under such circum- 
Btaiiccs, by the lutics of hospitality, to give all that he has to the 
needy. The extraordinary generosity displayed on such occasions 
by their chiefs forms some of the most favourite stories of the 

The common Bedouin can rarely get meat. His food consists 
almost exclusively of wheaten bread with truffles, which are found 
in great abundance during the spring, a few wild herbs, such as 
asparagus, onions, and garlic, fresh butter, curds, and sour milk. 
But, at certain seasons, even these luxuries cannot be obtained ; 
for months together he often eats bread alone. The Sheikhs 
usually slay a sheep every day, of which their guests, a few of their 
relatives, and their immediate adherents partake. The women pre- 
pare the foo<l, and always eat after the men, who rarely leave them 
much wherewith to satisfy their hunger. 

The dish usually seen in a Bedouin tent is a mess of boiled meat^ 
sometimes mixed with onions, upon which a lump of fresh butter 
is placed and allowed to melt. The broad tail of the Mesoi>otamian 



sheep 18 used for grease when there is no butter. Sometimes 
cakes of bread are laid under the meat, and the entertainer tearing 
up the thin loaves into small pieces, soaks them in the gravj 
with his hands. The Aneyza make very savory dishes of chopped 
meat and bread mixed with sour curds, over which, when the huge 
platter is placed before the guest, is poured a flood of melted 
butter. Roasted meat is very rarely seen in a Bedouin tent. Bice 
is only eaten by the Sheikhs, except amongst the tribes who en- 
camp in the marshes of Southern Mesopotamia, where rice of an 
inferior quality is very largely cultivated. There it is boiled with 
meat and made into pilaws. 

The Bedouins do not make cheese. The milk of their sheep 
and goats is shaken into butter or turned into curds : it is rarely 
or never drank fresh, new milk being thought very unwholesome, 
as by experience I soon found it to be, in the Desert. I have 
frequently had occasion to describe the process of making butter 
by shaking the milk in skins. This is also an employment confined 
to the women, and one of a very laborious nature. The curds are 
formed by boiling the milk, and then putting some of the curds 
made on the previous day into it and allowing it to stand. When 
the sheep no longer give milk, some curds are dried, to be used as 
leaven on a future occasion. This preparation, called leben, is 
thick and acid, but very agreeable and grateful to the taste in a 
hot climate. The sour milk, or sheneena, an universal beverage 
amongst the Arabs, is either butter-milk pure and diluted, or 
curds mixed with water. Camel's milk is drank fresh. It is 
pleasant to the taste, rich, and exceedingly nourishing. It 
is given in large quantities to the horses. The Sham mar and 
Aneyza Bedouins have no cows or oxen, those animals being looked 
upon as the peculiar property of tribes who have forgotten their 
independence, and degraded themselves by the cultivation of land. 
The sheep are milked at dawn, or even before daybreak, and again 
in the evening on their return from the pastures. The milk is 
immediately turned into leben, or boiled to be shaken into butter. 
Amongst the Bedouins and Jebours it is considered derogatory to 
the character of a man to milk a cow or a sheep, but not to milk a 

The Sheikhs occasionally obtain dates from the cities. They 
are either eaten dry with bread and leben, or fried in butter, a 
very favorite dish of the Bedouin.* 

* In speaking of the Bedouins I mean the Aneyza, Shammar, Al Dhefyr, and 


To thb spare and simple dish the Bedouins owe their freedom 
from sickness^ and their extraordinary power of bearing fatigue. 
Diseases are rare amongst them ; and the epidemics, which rage in 
the cities, seldom reach their tents. The cholera, which has of late 
visited Mosul and Baghdad with fearful severity, has not yet struck 
the Bedouins, and they have frequently escaped the plague, when 
the settlements on the borders of the Desert have been nearly de* 
popuhited by it The small pox, however, occasionally makes great 
havoc amongst them, vaccination being still unknown to the Sham- 
mar, and intermittent fever prevails in the autumn, particularly 
when the tribes encamp near the marshes in Southern Mesopo- 
tamia. Rheumatism is not uncommon, and is treated, like most 
local complaints, with the actual cautery, a red hot iron being ap- 
plied very freely to the part affected. Another cure for rheumatism 
consists in killing a sheep and placing the patient in the hot reek- 
ing skin. 

Ophthalmia is common in the desert as well as in all other parts 
of the East, and may be attributed as much to dirt and n^lect as 
to any other cause. 

The Bedouins arc acquainted with few medicines. The Desert 
yields some valuable simples, which arc, however, rarely used. 
Dr. Sandwith hearing from Suttum that the Arabs had no opi- 
ates, asked what they did with one who could not sleep. " Do I •* 
answered the Sheikh, *^ why, we make use of him, and set him 
to watch the camels." If a Bedouin be ill, or have received 
a wound, he sometimes comes to the nearest town to consult 
the barlKjrs, who are frequently not unskilful surgeons. Hadjir, 
one of the great chiefs of the Shainmar, having been struck 
by a musket ball which lodged beneath the shoulder-blade, visited 
the Pasha of Mosul to obtain the iud of the European surgeons 
attached to the Turkish troops. They declared an operation 
to l>e impossible, and refused to undertake it. The Sheikh applied 
to a barber, who in his shop, in the open bazar, quietly cut down 
to the ball, and taking it out brought it to the Pasha in a plate, to 
claim a reward for his skill. It is true that the European surgeons in 
the service of the Porte are not very eminent in their profession. 
The Iledouins set broken limbs by means of rude splinta 

The women suffer little in labor, which often takes place during 

other great trilton inhabiting Mesopotamia and the Desert to the north of tho 
Gv\k\ Shainmar. With the Arabs of the Hcdjaz and Central Arabia I am 

i; 2 


a march, or when they are far from the encampment watering the 
flocks or collecting fuel. They allow their children to remain at 
the breast until they are nearly two and even three years old, and, 
consequently, have rarely many offspring. 

Soon after our arrival at the Khabour I bought a deloul, or 
dromedary, as more convenient than a horse for making excursions 
in the Desert Her name was Sahaima, and she belonged to Mog- 
hamis, the uncle of Suttum, having been taken by him from the 
Aneyza ; she was well trained, and swift and easy in her paces. The 
best delouls come from Nedjd and the Gebel Shamman They are 
small and lightly made, the difference between them and a common 
camel being as great as that between a high-bred Arab mare and an 
English cart-horse. Their powers of endurance are very great. 
Suttum mentioned the following as well authenticated instances. 
With a companion, each being on his own dromedary, he once rode 
from Ana to Bowah in one day, one of the animals, however, dying 
soon after they reached their journey's end. An Arab of the 
Hamoud, leaving an encampment about five miles inland from 
Dair, on the west bank of the Euphrates, reached Koukab within 
twenty-four hours. Suttum rode from Mosul to Khatouniyah in 
two days.* 

The deloul is much prized, and the race is carefully preserved. 
The Arabs breed from them once in two years, and are very 
particular in the choice of the male. An ordinary animal can work 
for twenty years. Suttum assured me that they could travel in the 
spring as many as six days without water. Their color is generally 
light brown and white, darker colors and black are more uncom* 
mon. Their pace is a light trot kept up for many hours together 
without fatigue; they can increase it to an unweildly gallop, a 
speed they cannot long maintain. A good deloul is worth at the 
most 10/., the common price is about 5L 

After the day's work at Arban I generally rode with Suttum 
into the Desert on our delouls, with the hawks and greyhounds. 

* Burckhardt (Notes on the Bedouins, &c. p. 262.) mentions as the best au- 
thenticated instance of the wonderful speed and endurance of a deloul which 
had come to his knowledge, a journey for a wager, of 1 15 miles in eleven hours, 
including twenty minutes in crossing the Nile twice in a ferry-boat. As that 
traveller, however, justly remarks, it is by the ease with which they can carry 
their rider during an uninterrupted journey of several days and nights at a kind 
of easy amble of five, or five and a half miles, an hour, that they are unequalled 
by any other animal. 

Cbap.xiii.] bemoval of encampment. 293 

During these rides over the flowered greensward, the Arab Sheikh 
would entertain me with stories of his tribe, of their wars and in- 
trigues, their successful plundering expeditions, and their occasional 
defeats. In the evening Mohammed Emin would join our party 
in the tent, remaining until the night was far spent. Both the 
Arab chiefs were much troubled by the report of an expedition 
against the tribes, to which the approach of Suleiman Agha, with 
a considerable body of troops, to the upper part of the Khabour, 
had given rise. However, the season was too far advanced for 
the march of an army through the waterless plains of Mesopo- 
tamia. A general campaign against the Bedouins must be under- 
taken in the winter, or very early in the spring, and even then, 
if organised by the Turks, would probably fail The Shammar 
would at once leave Mesopotamia, and take refuge in the deserts 
of Nedjd, where no troops could follow them. They would, of 
course, abandon their flocks and the greater part of their camels, 
but they would be ready to return as soon as the enemy retreated 
from the open country, and to revenge themselves amply for their 
losses upon the unprotected population of the cultivated districts. 
To bring the Bedouins under subjection, a regular system, steadily 
pursued, and well selected military posts, are essentially necessary. 

The grass around Arban having been eaten by the flocks, the 
Jcbours struck their tents at dawn on the 4th of April, and wan- 
dered down the Khabour in search of fresh pastures. The Boraij, 
too, moved further inland from the river. During the whole 
morning the Dci<ert around the ruins was a busy scene ; sheep, 
cattle, beasts of burden, men, women, and children being scattered 
fur and wide over the plain. By midday the crowd had disappeared, 
and the meadows, which a few hours before had been teeming with 
living things, were now again left lonely and bare. I know no 
feeling more melancholy than that caused by the sudden breaking 
up of a large tribe, and by the eight of the spent fires and rubbish- 
heaps of a recent encampment ; the silence and solitude which have 
t»u<l<lcnly succeeded to the busy scene of an Arab community. 
Moliammed Kmin alone, with a few Sherabeen Arabs, remained to 
protect UP. 

Soon after our arrival at the Khabour, Adla, Suttum's first 
wife, came to us with her child. After the Sheikh's marriage with 
Kathaiyah, b\\c had l>een driven from her husband^s tent by the im- 
perious teni|)er of his new bride, and had returned to Moghamis 

her father. Her eldest sister was the wife of Suttum's eldest 

V 3 


brother Sahiman, and her youngest, Msiziy was betrothed to Sut- 
turn's youngest brother Midjwell. The three were remarkable for 
then* beauty; their dark eyes had the true Bedouin fire, and 
their long black hair fell in clusters on their shoulders. Their 
cousins, the three brothers, had claimed them as their brides 
according to Bedouin law.* Adla now sought to be reconciled 
through me to her husband. Rathaiyah, the new wife, whose 
beauty was already on the wane, dreaded her young rival's share 
in the affections of her lord, over whom she had established more 
influence than a lady might be supposed to exercise over her 
spouse amongst independent Arabs. The Sheikh was afraid to meet 
Adla, until, after much negotiation, Hormuzd acting as ambassador, 
the proud Bathaiyah consented to receive her in her tent. Then 
the injured lady refused to accept these terms, and the matter was 
only finished by Hormuzd taking her by the arm and dragging 
her by force over the grass to her rival. There all the outward 
forms of perfect reconciliation were satisfactorily gone through, 
although Suttum evidently saw that there was a different reception 
in store for himself when there were no European eye-witnesses. 
Such are the trials of married life in the Desert ! 

I may here mention that polygamy is very common amongst the 
Bedouins. It is considered disgraceful for a man to accept money 
for his daughter, according to the custom in towns and amongst 
the cultivating tribes ; and a girl cannot be forced against her will 
to marry a man unless he be her cousin, and legally entitled to 
demand her hand. 

On the sixth of April we witnessed a remarkable electrical pheno- 
menon. During the day heavy clouds had been hanging on the 
horizon, foreboding one of those furious storms which at this time 
of the year occasionally visit the Desert. Late in the afternoon 
these clouds had gathered into one vast circle, which moved slowly 
round like an enormous wheel, presenting one of the most extra- 
ordinary and awful appearances I ever saw. From its sides leaped^ 
without ceasing, forked flames of lightning. Clouds springing up 
from all sides of the heavens, were dragged hurriedly into the 
vortex, which advanced gradually towards us, and threatened soon 
to break over our encampment. Fortunately, however, we only 
felt the very edge of the storm, — a deluge of rain and of hail of the 
size of pigeons' eggs. The great rolling cloud, attracted by the 

* Amongst the Bedouins a man has a right to demand his cousin in marriage, 
and she cannot refuse him. 

Chap.xiil] a B£DOUin youth. 295 

Sinjar hill, soon passed away, leaving in undiminished splendor 
the setting sun. 

Monday^ Sth of April. The Mogdessi, one of my servants, 
caught a turtle in the river measuring three feet in length. The 
Arabs have many stories of the voracity of these animals, which 
attain, I am assured, to even a larger size, and Suttum declared that 
a man had been pulled under water and devoured by one, probably 
an Arab exaggeration. 

A Bedouin, who had been attacked by a lion whilst resting, 
about five hours lower down on the banks of the river, came 
to our encampment He had escaped with the loss of his mare. 
The lion is not uncommon in the jungles of the Khabour, and the 
Bedouins and Jebours frequently find their cubs in the spring 

In the afternoon, Mohammed Emin learned that the Shera- 
been buffido keepers, who lived under his protection paying a 
small annual tribute, were about to leave him for the Tai of 
Nisibin, with whom the Jebours had a blood feud. The Sheikh 
asked the help of my workmen to bring back the refractory tribe, 
who were encamped about three hours up the river, and the party 
marched in the evening singing their war songs. 

April 9ih. Messengers arrived during the night for further 
assistance, and Suttum mounting his mare joined the combatants. 
Early in the morning the Jebours returned in triumph, driving 
the flocks and buffaloes of the Sheraheen before them. They were 
poon followed by the tribe, who were compelled to pitch their tents 
near our encampment. 

A Bedouin youth, thin and sickly, though of a daring and 
resolute countenance, sat in my guest tent. His singular appear- 
ance at once drew my attention. His only clothing was a ker* 
chief, very dirty and t(»rn, falling over his head, and a ragged cloak, 
which he drew tightly round him, allowing the end of a knotted 
club to appear abovje its folds. His story, which he was at length 
induced to tell, was characteristic of Bedouin education. He was 
of the Boraij tribe, and related to Suttum. His father was too 
poor to equip him with mare and spear, and he was ashamed to 
be seen by the Arabs on foot and unarmed. He had now become 
a man, for he was about fourteen years old, and he resolved to 
trust to his own skill for his outfit as a warrior. Leaving in his 
father's tent all his clothes, except his dirty keifieh and his tattered 
aba, and, without communicating his plans to his friends, he bent 

his way to the Euphrates. For three months his family be - 

V 4 


ing nothing of him, believed him to be dead. During that time, 
however, he had lived in the river jungle, feeding on roots and 
herbs, hiding himself during the day in the thickets, and prowling 
at night round the tents of the Aneyza in search of a mare that 
might have strayed, or might be less carefully guarded than usual. 
At length the object of his ambition was found, and such a mare 
had never been seen before ; but, alas ! her legs were bound with 
iron shackles, and he had brought no file with him. He succeeded 
in leading her to some distance from the encampment, where, as 
morning dawned, to avoid detection, he was obliged to leave his 
prize and return to his hiding-place. He was now on his way back 
to his tents, intending to set forth again, after recruiting his 
strength, on new adventures in search of a mare and spear, pro- 
mising to be wiser in future and to carry a file under his cloak. 
Suttum seemed very proud of his relative, and introduced him to 
me as a promising, if not distinguished, character.* It is thought 
no disgrace thus to steal a mare as long as the thief has not eaten 
bread in the tent of her owner. 

April llth* The waters of this river had been rising rapidly 
since the recent storm, and had now spread over the meadows. 
We moved our tents, and the Arabs took refuge on the mound, 
which stood like an island in the midst of the flood. The Jebours 
killed four beavers, and brought three of their young to us alive. 
They had been driven from their holes by the swollen stream. 
Mohammed Emin eagerly accepted the musk bags, which are 
much valued as majouns by the Turks, and, consequently, fetch a 
large price in the towns. The Arabs eat the flesh, and it was 
cooked for us, but proved coarse and tough. The young we kept 
for some days on milk, but they eventually died. Their cry re- 
sembled that of a newborn infant- The Khabour beavers appeared 
to me to differ in several respects from the American. The tail, 
instead of being large and broad, was short and pointed. They do 
not build huts, but burrow in the banks, taking care to make the 
entrance to their holes below the surface of the stream to avoid de- 
tection, and the chambers above, out of reach of the ordinary floods. 

Beavers were formerly found in large numbers on the Khabour, 
but in consequence of the value attached to the musk bag, they have 

* The title of haraymi (thief), so far from being one of disgrace, is considered 
evidence of great prowess and capacity in a young man. Like the Spartans of 
old he only suffers if caught in the act. There was a man of the Assaiyah tribe 
who had established an immense renown by stealing no less than ninety horses 
amongst which was the celebrated mare given by Sofuk to Beder Khan Bey. 

OUJhZin.] -HOUHD OF 8HEDAD1. 297 

lieen hunted almoet to exterminatioD by the Arabs. Mohammed 
Emm aasured me that for several years not more than one or two 
had been seen. Sofuk, the great Shammar Sheikh, used to oon- 
ader the musk bag of a beaver the most acceptable present he could 
•end to a Turkish Pasha, whose friendship he wished to secure. 

Two Sheikhs of the Buggara Arabs, who inhabit the banks of the 
Euplumtee opposite Dair, visited our encampment. They described 
some large mounds near their tents, called Sen, to which they 
oflSned to take me ; but I was unable to leave my party. The 
tribe is nominally under the Pasha of Aleppo, but only pay him 
taxes when he can send a sufficient force to collect them. 

Our encampment was further increased by several families of 
Jays, who had fled from the north on account of some quarrel with 
the rest of the tribe. They inhabit the country round the andent 
Harran and Orfa, the Ur of the Chaldees, and still called Urrha 
by the Bedouins. 

April 12tiu We rode this morning with Mohammed Emio, 
Suttum, and the Sheikhs of the Buggara, Jays, and Sherabeen, to 
the tents of the Jebours, which had now been moved some miles 
down the river. Ratluuyah remained behind. The large tents 
and the workmen were left under the care of the Bairakdar. The 
chiefs were mounted on well-bred mares, except one of the Jays 
Sheikhs, who rode a handsome and high-mettled horse. He 
was gaily dressed in a scarlet doak lined with fur, a many-colored 
keffieh, and new yellow boots. His steed, too, was profusely 
adorned with silken tassels, and small bells, chains, and other 
ornaments of silver, reminding me forcibly of the horses of the 
Assyrian sculptures. He had been in the service of the Turks, 
whose language he had learned, and from whom he had acquired 
his taste for finery. He was a graceful rider, and managed his 
horse witli great dexterity. 

About tliree miles from Arban we passed a small artificial mound 
called Tel Hamcr (the red); and similar ruins abound on the banks 
of the river. Near it we met four Shammar Bedouins, who had 
turned back empty-handed from a thieving expedition to the Aneysa, 
on account of the floods of the Euphrates, which they described as 
spreading over the surrounding country like a sea. 

Three hours from Arban we reached a remarkable artificial 
mound called Shedadi, washed by the IGuibour. It consists of a 
lofty platform, nearly square, from the centre of which springs a 
cone. On the top are the tombs of several Jebour chiefs, marked 
by the raised earth, and by small trees now dry, fixed upright in 


the graves. I found fragments of pottery and bricks, but no trace 
of inscriptions. 

Between Shedadi and Arban we saw several ruined bridges, 
probably of the time of the Caliphs. The mounds are evidently 
the remains of a much earlier civilisation, when the Assyrian em- 
pire extended far beyond the Khabour, and when, as we learn 
from the inscriptions, the whole face of the country was covered 
with cities, and with a thriving and wealthy population. 

We did not reach the encampment of Mohammed Emin, spreading 
three or four miles along the Khabour, until after sunset. The 
chief's tents were pitched near a mound called Ledjmiyat, on a bend 
of the river, and opposite to a very thick zor or jungle, known to 
the Arabs as El Bostan ^^ the garden," a kind of stronghold of the 
tribe, which the Sheikh declared could resist the attack of any num- 
ber of nizam (regular troops), if only defended by Jebours. Sut- 
tum looked upon the grove rather as a delicious retreat from the 
rays of the summer's sun, to which the Boraij occasionally re- 
sorted, than as a place for war. 

During the evening, the different Sheikhs assembled in my tent 
to plan a ffhazoUy or plundering expedition, for the following day, 
against the Agaydat, encamped at Abou Psera (Carchemish). 
Suttum was much cast down at not being able to join them, 
and mourned over his life, of inactivity. I urged him to go, but he 
vowed that, as long as we were under his protection, he would not 
leave us. I should have taken this opportunity to visit the Kha- 
bour to its mouth, but did not wish to appear to mix myself up 
with the broils of the tribes.* 

On the following morning, Mohammed Emin, with two of his 
sons, the horsemen of the tribe, and the Sheikhs who were his 
guests, started on their ffhazou. They were all mounted on mares, 
except the Jays chief and one of Mohammed Emin's sons, who 
rode a beautiful white horse of the Khalawi race. I accompanied 
them as far as a large ruin called Shemshani. Suttum came with 
us carrying his hawk, Hattab, on his wrist. 

The plain, like all the country watered by the Khabour, was one 
vast meadow teeming with flowers. Game abounded, and the 
falcon soon flew towards a bustard, which his piercing eye had 
seen lurking in the long grass. The sun was high in the heavens, 

* The confluence of the Euphrates and Khabour is, according to Arab reckon- 
ing, one day's journey from Ledjmiyat, and two short from Arban. Arban is 
two long days from Nisibin, three from Orfa, and four from Severek. 


abndy MNuing in the Aj, was the enemy of the trained hawJc» 
the ** agab** a kind of kite or eagle» whose name, signifying 
** batcher,'* denotes his bloody propensities.* Although far beyond 
cor ken, he soon saw Hattab, and darted upon him in one swoop. 
The affirighted falcon immediately turned from his quany, and widi 
shrill cries of distress flew towards us. After drciing round, un« 
able fixMn fear to alight» he turned towards the D^ert, still fol- 
lowed by his relentless enemy. In yiun his master, following as 
long as his mare conld carry him, waved the lure, and called the 
hawk by his name; he saw him no more. Whether the noble 
Irird escaped, or fell a victim to the ** butcher," we never knew. 

Suttum was inconsolable at his loss. He wept when he returned 
without his falcon on his wrist, and for days he would suddenly 
eacolaim, *^ O Bej ! BilUh I Hattab was not a bird, he was my bro« 
ther.** He was one of the best tnuned hawks I ever saw amongst 
the Bedouins, and was of some substantial value to his owner, as 
he would dfuly catch six or seven bustards, except during the 
hottest part of summer, when the falcon is unable to hnnt. 

About a mile and a half below Ledjmiyat, but on the (^posite 
bank of the river, was another large mound called Fedghami. We 
reached Shemshani in an hour and three quarters. It is a const* 
derable ruin on the Khabour, and consists of one lofty mound, sur* 
rounded on the Desert side by smaller mounds and heaps of rubbish* 
It abounds in fragments of glazed and plain pottery, bricks, and 
black basaltic stone, but I could find no traces of sculpture or in* 
scription. The remains of walls protrude in many places from the 
soil. Above the ancient ruins once stood a castle, the foundations 
of which may still be seen. 

The Arabs have many traditions attaching to these ruins. 
Among others, that they are the remains of the capital of nn in- 
fidel king, whose daughter, at the time of the first Mussulman inva- 
sion, eloped with a true believer. The lovers were pursued by the 
father, overtaken, and killed (the lady having, of course, first em- 
braced Islamism), in a narrow valley of the neighbouring hills. A 
flickering flame, still distinctly seen to rise from the earth on Friday 
nights, marks tlie spot of their martyrdom. The city soon fell into 
the hands of the Mussulmans, who took a signal revenge upon its 
idolatrous inhabitants. 

The Jcbours some years ago cultivated the lands around Shem* 

* Eattcrni new hawk, if they cmn aToid it, when tlie tan u high, at the bird 
ofprej described in the text then sppesn in March of food. 


shani, and there are still many traces of watercourses, and of the 
square plots set apart for rice.* 

Leaving Mohammed Emin to continue his journey we returned 
to our tents. On our road we met Mogharais^ and a large party 
of Bedouins on their way to join the Jebour horsemen^ for they 
also had been invited to take part in the attack on the Agaydat, 
and to share in the spoil. They rode their swift dromedaries, two 
men on each, the rediff leading the mare of his companion ; that 
of the Sheikh was of the Obeyan race, and far famed in the Desert. 
She was without saddle or clothes, and we could admire the ex- 
quisite symmetry and beauty of her form. 

We dismounted, embraced, and exchanged a few words. The 
Bedouins then continued their rapid course over the Desert. We 
passed other riders on delouls and mares, hastening to join the main 
body, or to meet their friends at the rendezvous for the night near 
Abou Psera. The attack on the tents was to be made at dawn on 
the following morning, the true Bedouin never taking an unfair 
advantage of his enemy in the dark. 

April \^th. We were awoke long before dawn by the Jebours 
striking their tents. By sunrise the whole encampment had dis- 
appeared, and we were left almost alone. They were returning 
towards Arban, fearing lest the Agaydat, assisted by the Aneyza, 
might seek a speedy revenge after the attack upon them. We 
breakfasted, and then soon overtook the line of march. For two 
hours we amused ourselves by riding through the dense and busy 
throng. I have already described the singular spectacle of a great 
Arab tribe changing its pastures, — its mingled crowd of women 
and girls, some with burdens, others without, of warriors on high- 
bred mares and on fleet camels, of shepherds with their knotted 
clubs, of sheep, goats, camels, beasts of burden, children, lambs, 
and all the various appendages of Arab life. A more stirring and 
joyous scene can scarcely be imagined. 

The family of the chief, as is usual, moved in front of the tribe. 
We left them pitching their tents near the mound of Shedadi, and 
rode to our own encampment at Arban. 

On the 16th of April, Mohammed Emin and his sons returned 
from their expedition, driving before them their spoil of cows, oxen^ 
and mares. The Agaydat were taken by surprise, and made but a 

* Between Shemshani and the mouth of the Khabour, according to Moham- 
med Emin, are the following mounds — El Murgadeh (about five miles distant), 
£1 Hussain, Sheikh Ahmed, Suor, and El Efdaya. 


feeble defence; there was> consequently, little bloodshed, as is 
usually the case when Arabs go on these forays. The fine horse of 
the Jays chief had received a bad gunshot wound, and this was the 
only casualty amongst my friends. Mohammed Emin brought me 
one or two of the captured mares as an ofierlhg. They were^ of 
course, returned, but they involved the present of silk dresses to 
the Sheikh and his sons. 

April 18M. To-day we visited the tents of Moghamis and his 
tribe ; they were pitched about five miles from the river. The face 
of the Desert was as burnished gold. Its last change was to 
flowers of the brightest yellow hue*, and the whole plain was 
dressed witli them. Suttum rioted in the luxuriant herbage and 
scented air. I never saw him so exhilarated. " What Kef (de- 
light),** he continually exclaimed, as his mare waded through the 
flowers, '* has God given us equal to this ? It is the only thing 
worth living for. Ya Bej ! what do the dwellers in cities know 
of true happiness, they have never seen grass or flowers? May 
God have pity on them ! " 

The tents were scattered far and wide over the plain. The 
mares recently returned from the foray wandered loose in the 
midst of them, cropping the rich grass* We were most hospitably 
received by Moghamis. Such luxuries, in the way of a ragged car- 
))ct and an old coverlet, as his tent could afford, had been spread for 
Mrs. R., whose reputation had extended far and wide amongst the 
Arabs, and who was looked upon as a wonder, but always treated 
with the greatest consideration and respect. The wild Bedouin 
would bring a present of camel's milk or truffles, and the boys 
caught jerboas and other small animals for the Frank lady. During 
the whole of our journey she was never exposed to annoyance, 
although wearing, with the exception of the Tarboush, or an Arab 
cloak, the IIuroix?an dress 

Moghamis clad himself in a coat of chain mail, of ordinary ma- 
teriaU and rude workmanship, but still strong enough to resist the 
coarse iron spear-heads of the Arab lance, though certainly no pro- 
tection against a well-tempere<l blade. The Arabs wear their 
annour Wncath the shirt, because an enemy would otherwise strike 
at the mare and not at her rider.f 

• I have already mcntione<l the changes in the colors of the Desert. Almost 
in a.H many days white had succce<]ed to pale straw color, hmI to white, blue to 
reiK lilac to lilue, and now the face of the country was as descrilxMl in the text 

t One of the principal objects of Ik^lcmins in battle being to carrjr ofT their 
a4lvi>r»arie»' marcs, they never wound them if they can avoid it, but endeavour 
to kill or unhorse the riders. 




After we had enjoyed all the luxuries of an Arab feast, visited 
the women's comportments, where most of the ladies of the tribe 
had aasembled to greet us, examined the " chetab," or camel saddle, 
used by the wives of the chiefs*, and enquired into various details 
of the harem, we returned as we came, through the flowers and long 
grass to our tente at Arban. 

• See woodcut, p. 63., of the abridged edition of mj " Ninereh and iU 
Remaina," for a aketcb of ihis extraordinarji c 

TiiK liDt weather -km r;ipi(]ly drawing near. Enough had not 
been iliwovercd in the mound of Arban, nor were there ruins of 
Buflieicnt imjiortancc near the river, to induce me to remain 
much h>nger on the Khabour. I wished, however, to explore 
the tftreom, as far as I was able, towards its principal iiource, and 
to \isit Suleiman Agha, the Turkish commander, who won now 
enciimpcd on its banks. In answer to a letter, he urged me 
to come to Ins tents, and to bring the Sheikh of the .Tcbours with 
me, pledging himself to place no restraint whatever on the inrfect 


liberty of the Arab chief. With such a guarantee, I ventured to 
invite Mohammed Emin to accompany me. After much hesitation, 
arising from a very natural fear of treachery, he consented to 
do so. 

On the 19th of April we crossed^ the Khabour, and encamped 
for the night on its southern bank. On the following morning we 
turned from the ruins of Arban, and commenced our journey 
to the eastward. The Jebours were now dwelling higher up the 
stream, and Mohammed Emin, with his two sons, and Abdullah 
his nephew, met us on our way. He was still in doubt as to whe- 
ther he should go with me or not ; but at last, after more than 
once turning back, he took a desperate resolution, and pushed his 
mare boldly forward. His children commended him, with tears, 
to my protection, and then left our caravan for their tents. 

We rode from bend to beild of the river, without following its 
tortuous course. Its banks are belted with poplars, tamarisks, and 
brushwood, the retreat of wild boars, francolins, and other game, 
and studded with artificial mounds, the remains of ancient settle- 
ments. This deserted though rich and fertile district must, at one 
time, have been the seat of a dense population. It is only under 
such a government as that of Turkey that it could remain a 
wilderness. The first large ruin above Arban, and some miles 
from it on the left bank of the river, is called Mishnak. Accord- 
ing to a tradition preserved by the Jebours, the Persians were 
defeated near it, with great slaughter, in the early days of Islam, 
by the celebrated Arab tribe of the Zobeide. About one mile and 
a half beyond is another ruin called Abou Shalah, and three 
miles further up the stream a third, called Taaban, upon which are 
the remains of a modem fort. Near Taaban, Mohammed Emin 
had recently built a small enclosure of rude stone walls, a place of 
refuge in case of an attack from the Aneyza Bedouins. Around 
it the Jebours sow corn and barley, re-opening the ancient water- 
courses to bring water to their fields. The wheat was almost ready 
for the sickle even at this early season of the year. 

After a short day's journey of four hours and a half we raised our 
tents for the night amongst luxuriant herbage, which afforded 
abundant pasture for our horses and camels. The spot was called 
Nahab. The river, divided into two branqhes by a string of small 
wooded islands, is fordable except during the freshes. Near our 
encampment was a large mound named Mehlaibiyah, and in the 
stream I observed fragments of stone masonry, probably the remains 
of ancient dams for irrigation. 


Next moFDing Suttum returned to his tents with Rathaijah, 
leaving us under the care of his younger brother Mijwell. After I 
had visited the Turkish commander, whom he did not appear over 
anxious to meet, he was to join us in the Desert, and accompany 
me to Mosul. Mijwell was even of a more amiable disposition than 
his brother ; was less given to diplomacy, and troubled himself little 
with the politics of the tribes. A pleasant smile lighted up his 
features, and a fund of quaint and original humor made him at 
all times an agreeable companion. Although he could neither read 
nor write, he was one of the cadis or judges of the Shammar, an 
office hereditary in the family of the Saadi, at the head of which is 
Rishwan. The old man had delegated the dignity to his younger son, 
who, by the consent of his brothers, will enjoy it after their father's 
death. Disputes of all kinds are referred to these recognised judges. 
Their decrees are obeyed with readiness, and the other members of 
the tribe are rarely called upon to enforce them. They administer 
rude justice; and, although pretending to follow the words of the 
Prophet, are rather guided by ancient custom than by the law of 
the Koran, which binds the rest of the Mohammedan world. The 
most common source of litigation is, of course, stolen property. 
They receive for their decrees, payment in money or in kind ; and 
he who gains the suit has to pay the fee. Amongst the Shammar, 
if the di8pute relates to a deloul, the cadi gets two gazees, about 
eight i^hillingd ; if to a mare, a deloul ; if to a man, a mare.* 
Various ordeal:?, such as licking a red-hot iron, are in use, to prove 
a HKuri) innocence. If the accused^s tongue is burnt, no doubt 
exists as to his guilt. 

One of the most remarkable laws in force amongst the wander- 
ing A rain, and one probably of the highest antiquity, is the law of 
blood, called the Thar, prescribing the degrees of consanguinity 
within which it is lawful to revenge a homicide. Although a law, 
rendering a man re8|Km:«ible for blood shed by any one related to 
him within the fifth degree, may appear to members of a civilised 
coninniiiity one of extraordinary rigour, and involving almost ma- 
nifoHt injustice, it must nevertheless be admitted, that no i>ower 
vested in any one individual, and no punishment however severe, 
could tend more to the maintenance of order and the prevention of 
bloinUhod amongst the wild tribes of the Desert. As Burckhardt 

* nurrklinnit pvciv a M)incwliat (lifferent tabic of fecnn!! cxistinfv amongst the 
IkHlouiti trilH.'fl with whirh he was arquAintc<l. Hin whole account of A rub law 
in •iin;!uUrl V interentinf^ an<] correct ; there in, indeed, very little to be added to 
it. (See \iu Notes ou the I^ouins, p. 66.) 



has justly remarked, ^* this salutary institution has contributed in 
a greater degree than any other circumstance, to prevent the war- 
like tribes of Arabia from exterminating one another.'' 

If a man commit a homicide, the cadi endeavours to prevail 
upon the family of the victim to accept a compensation for the blood 
in money or in kind, the amount being regulated according to 
custom in different tribes. Should the offer of " blood-money ^ 
be refused, the " Thar " comes into operation, and any person with- 
in the ** khomse," or the fifth degree of blood of the homicide, may 
be legally killed by any one within the same degree of consangui- 
nity to the victim.* 

This law is enforced between tribes remote from one another, 
as well as between families, and to the blood revenge may be at- 
tributed many of the bitter feuds which exist amongst the Arab 
clans. It affects, in many respects, their social condition, and has 
a marked influence upon their habits, and even upon their manners. 
Thus an Arab will never tell his name, especially if it be an un- 
common one, to a stranger, nor mention that of his father or of his 
tribe, if his own name be ascertained, lest there should be Thar 
between them. Even children are taught to observe this custom, 
that they may not fall victims to the blood revenge. Hence the 
extreme suspicion with which a Bedouin regards a stranger in the 
open country, or in a tent, and his caution in disclosing anything 
relating to the movements, or dwelling-place, of his friends. In 
most encampments are found refugees, sometimes whole families, 
who have left their tribe on account of a homicide for which they 
are amenable. In case, after a murder, persons within the " Thar " 
take to flight, three days and four hours are by immemorial custom 
allowed to the fugitives before they can be pursued. Frequently 
they never return to their friends, but remain with those who give 
them protection, and become incorporated into the tribe by which 
they are adopted. Thus there are families of the Harb, Aneyza, 

♦ Burckbardt has thus defined the terms of this law : " The Thar rests with 
the khomse, or fiflh generation, those onljr having a right to revenge a slain 
parent, whose fourth lineal ascendant is, at the same time, the fourth lineal as- 
cendant of the person slain ; and, on the other side, only those male kindred of 
the homicide are liable to pay with their own for the blood shed, whose fourth 
lineal ascendant is at the same time the fourth lineal ascendant of the homicide. 
The present generation is thus comprised within the number of the khomse. 
The lineal descendants of all those who are entitled to revenge at the moment of 
the manslaughter inherit the right from their parents. The right to blood- 
revenge is never lost ; it descends on both sides to the latest generation." (Notes 
on Arabs, p. 85.) 


Dhofyr, and other great clans, who for this cause have joined the 
Shammar, and are now considered part of them. Frequently the 
homicide himself will wander from tent to tent over the Desert, or 
even rove through the towns and villages on its borders, with a 
chain round his neck and in rags, begging contributions from the 
charitable to enable him to pay the apportioned blood-money. I 
have frequently met such unfortunate persons who have spent years 
in collecting a small sum. I will not weary the reader with an ac- 
count of the various rules observed in carrying out this law, where 
persons are killed in private dissensions, or slain in the act of steal- 
ing, in war, or in the ghazou. In each case the cadi determines, 
according to the ancient custom of the tribe, the proper compen- 

Mijwell now took Suttum's place in the caravan, and directed 
the order of our march. Four miles from Nahab we passed a large 
mound called Thenenir, at the foot of which is a spring much' vene- 
rated by the Arabs. Around it the Jebours had sown a little 
wheat. Near this ruin an ancient stone dam divides the Khabour 
into several branches : it is called the **Saba Sekour/^ or the seven 

Leaving the caravan to pursue the direct road, I struck across 
the country to the hill of Koukab, accompanied by Mohammed 
Emin and MijwclL This remarkable cone, rising in the midst of 
the plain, had been visible from our furthest point on the Kha- 
bour. Some of the Arabs declared it to be an artificial mound ; 
others said, that it was a mountain of stones. Mohammed Emin 
would tell mc of a subterranean lake beneath it, in a cavern large 
enough to afford refuge to any number of men. As we drew 
nearer, the plain was covered with angular fragments of black 
basalt, and cro6se<l by veins, or dykes, of the same volcanic 
n>ck. Mohammed Emin led us first to the mouth of a cave 
in a rocky ravine not far from the foot of the hill. It was so 
choked with stones that we could scarcely squeeze ourselves 
through the oi)cning, but it became wider, and led to a descending 
poit^age, the bottom of which was lost in the gloom. We ad- 
vanced cautiously, but not without setting in motion an avalanche 
of loose stones, which, increasing as it rolled onwards, by its loud 
noise disturbed swarms of bats that hung to the sides and ceiling of 
the cavern. Flying towards the light, these noisome beasts almost 
compelled us to retreat. They clung to our clothes, and our 
hands could scarcely prevent them settling on our faces. The 
rustling of their wings was like the noise of a great wind, and an 


abominable stench arose from the recesses of the cave. At length 
they settled again to their daily sleep, and we were able to go 

After descending some fifty feet, we found ourselves on the 
margin of a lake of fresh water. The pitchy darkness prevented 
our ascertaining its size, which could not have been very great, 
although the Arabs declared that no one could reach the opposite 
side. The cave is frequently a place of refuge for the wandering 
Arabs, and the Bedouins encamp near it in summer to drink the 
cool water of this natural reservoir. Mohammed Emin told me 
that last year he had found a lion in it, who, on being disturbed, 
merely rushed out and fled across the plain. 

Leaving the cavern and issuing from the ravine, we came to 
the edge of a wide crater, in the centre of which rose the remark- 
able cone of Koukab. To the left of us was a second crater, 
whose lips were formed by the jaggy edges of basaltic rocks, and 
in the plain around were several others smaller in size. They 
were all evidently the remains of an extinct volcano, which had 
been active within a comparatively recent geological period, even 
perhaps within the time of history, or tradition, as the name of 
the mound amongst the Arabs denotes a jet of fire or flame, as well 
as a constellation. 

I ascended the cone, which is about 300 feet high, and composed 
entirely of loose lava, scoria, and ashes, thus resembling precisely 
the cone rising in the craters of Vesuvius and ^tna. It is steep 
and difiScult of ascent, except on one side, where the summit is 
easily reached even by horses. Within, for it is hollow, it re- 
sembles an enormous funnel, broken away at one edge, as if a molten 
stream had burst through it. Anemonies and poppies, of the 
brightest scarlet hue, covered its side ; although the dry lava and 
loose ashes scarcely seemed to have collected suflicient soil to 
nourish their roots. It would be diflicult to describe the richness 
and brilliancy of this mass of flowers, the cone from a distance 
having the appearance of a huge inverted cup of burnished copper, 
over which poured streams of blood. 

From the summit of Koukab I gazed upon a scene as varied as 
extensive. Beneath me the two principal branches of the Khabour 
united their waters. I could track them for many miles by the 
dark line of their wooded banks, as they wound through the golden 
plains. To the left, or the west, was the true Khabour, the Cha- 
boras of the ancients ; a name it bears from its source at Kas-al-ain 

Chap.xiy.] bedouin marks. 309 

(i. e. the head of the spring).* The second stream, that to the 
easty is called by the Arabs the Jerujer (a name, as uttered by the 
Bedouins, equally difficult to pronounce and to write), and is the 
ancient Mygdonius, flowing through Nisibin.t Khatouniyah and 
its lake were just visible, backed by the solitary hill of the Sinjar. 
The Kurdish mountains bounded the view to the east In the 
plain, and on the banks of the rivers, rose many artificial mounds ; 
whilst, in the extreme distance to the north could be distinguished 
the flocks and black tents of a large wandering tribe. They were 
those of the Chichi and Milli Kurds, encamped with the Turkish 
commander Suleiman Agha. 

On some fragments of basaltic rock projecting from the summit 
of the cone, were numerous rudely-cut signs, which might have 
been taken for ancient and unknown characters. They were the 
devices of the Shammar, carved there on the visit of different 
Sheikhs. Each tribe, and, indeed, each subdivision and family, 
has its peculiar mark, to be placed upon their property and burnt 
upon their camels. Mijwell identified the signs ; that of his own 
family, the Saadi, being amongst them. In little recesses, care- 
fully sheltered by heaped-up stones, were hung miniature cradles^ 
like those commonly suspended to the poles of a Bedouin tent. 
They had been placed there as exvotos by Shammar women who 
wished to be mothers. 

After I had examined the second large crater, — a deep hollow, 
surrounded by basaltic rocks, but without a projecting cone of 
lava, — we rode towards the Jerujer, on whose bunks the caravan 
was to await us. The ])lain was still covered with innumerable 
fragments of basalt embedded in scarlet poppies. We found our 
companions near the junction of the rivers, where a raft had been 
constructed to enable us to cross the smaller stream. I had sent 
the Bairakdar two days before to apprise Suleiman Agha of my 
intended visit, and to learn how far I could with safety take Mo- 
hammed Emin with me to the Turkish camp. lie had returned, 

* One of tbc sources of this branch of the Khabour is, I am told, in the 
Khanj D;ijrh, to the west of Murdia. This small stream, called Ajjurgub, falls 
into the river near Kas-al-Ain. 

t The name of Hawaii, bj which this branch of the Khabour appears to liave 
l>e<*n ouUeU hy the Arab geographers, and which is retaine<l in our maps, ap- 
{K>an to be derivetl from the ** IIol,** which will be descril>e*l hereafter. The 
courM.* of the stream is also erroneously laid down in all the maps ; and, what is 
more curious, is as wronglj described by the Arab writers, some of whom 
p1ai*4> a branch of it to the south-east of the Sinjar, confounding it ap|>arentljr 
with Ihe Thathar. 

X 3 


and was waiting for me. The Agha had given a satisfactoiy 
guarantee for the Sheikh's safety, and had sent an officer, with a 
party of irregular troops, to receive me. 

We had scarcely crossed the river before a large body of horse- 
men were seen approaching us. As they drew nigh I recognised in 
the Turkish commander an old friend, ^^ the Topal," or lame, Sulei- 
man Agha, as he was generally called in the country. He had 
been Kiayah or lieutenant-governor, to the celebrated Injeh Bai- 
rakdar Mohammed Pasha, and, like his former master, possessed 
considerable intelligence, energy, and activity. From his long 
connection with the tribes of the Desert, his knowledge of their 
manners, and his skill in detecting and devising treacheries and 
stratagems, he was generally chosen to lead expeditions against the 
Arabs. He was now, as I have stated, endeavoring to recover 
the government treasure plundered by the Hamoud Bedouins. 

He was surrounded by Hy ta-Bashis, or commanders of irregular 
cavalry, glittering with gold and silver-mounted arms, and rich in 
embroidered jackets, and silken robes, by Aghas of the Chichi and 
Milli Kurds, and by several Arab chiefs. About five hundred 
horsemen, preceded by their small kettle-drums, crowded behind 
him. His tents were about six miles distant ; and, after exchang- 
ing the usual salutations, we turned towards them. Many fair 
speeches could scarcely calm the fears of the timid Jebour Sheikh. 
Mijwell, on the other hand, rode boldly along, casting contemp- 
tuous glances at the irregular cavalry, as they galloped to and fro 
in mimic combat. 

The delta, formed by the two streams, was covered with tents. 
We wended our way through crowds of sheep, horses, cattle, and 
camels. The Chichi and Milli Kurds, who encamp during the 
spring at the foot of the mountains of Mardin, had now sought, 
under the protection of the Turkish soldiery, the rich pastures of 
the Khabour, and many families of the Sherabbeen, Buggara, and 
Harb Arabs had joined the encampment.* 

Suleiman Agha lived under the spacious canvas of the Chichi 
chief. The tents of the Kurdish tribes, who wander in the low 
country at the foot of the mountains in winter and spring, and seek 
the hill pastures in the summer, and especially those of the prin- 
cipal men, are remarkable for their size, and the richness of their 

* The Harb is a branch of the great tribe of the same name inhabiting the 
northern part of the Hedjaz, which, in consequence of some blood-feud, mi* 
grated manj years ago to Mesopotamia. 

Chap.xiv.] encampment at um-jebjeh. 311 

carpets and furniture. Thej are often divided into as many as 
four or five distinct compartments^ by screens of light cane or reeds, 
bound together with many-colored woollen threads, disposed in 
elegant patterns and devices. Carpets hung above these screens 
complete the divisions. In that partition set aside for the women 
a similar partition incloses a kind of private room for the head of 
the family and his wives. The rest of the harem is filled with piles 
of carpets, cushions, domestic furniture, cooking utensils, skins for 
making butter, and all the necessaries of a wandering life. Here 
the handmaidens prepare the dinner for their master and his guests. 
In the tents of the great chiefs there is a separate compartment for 
the servants, and one for the mares and colts. 

I sat a short time with Suleiman Agha, drank coffee, smoked, and 
listened patiently to a long discourse on the benefits of tanzimat, 
which had put an end to bribes, treachery, and irregular taxation, 
especially intended for Mohammed Emin, who was however by no 
means reassured by it I then adjourned to my own tents, which had 
been pitched upon the banks of the river opposite a well-wooded 
island, and near a ledge of rocks forming one of those beautiful 
falls of water so frequent in this part of the Khabour. Around 
us were the pavilions of the Hytas, those of the chiefs marked by 
their scarlet standards. At a short distance from the stream the 
tents of the Kurds were pitched in parallel lines forming regular 
streets, and not scattered, like those of the Bedouins, without 
order over the plain. Between us and them were picketed the 
hon^es of the cavalry-, and as far as the eye could reach be- 
yond, grazed the innumerable flocks and herds of the assembled 

We were encamped near the foot of a large artificial Tel called 
Umjerjeh ; and on the opposite side of the Khabour were other 
mounds of the same name. My Jebour workmen began to exca- 
vate in these ruins the day after our arrival. I remained in my 
tent to receive the visits of the Kurdish chiefs and of the com- 
manders of the irregular cavalry. From these freebooters I have 
derived much curious and interesting information relating to the 
viiriouM provinces of the Turkish empire and their inhabitants, 
mingled with pleasant anecdotes and vivid descriptions of men 
and manners. They arc generally very intelligent, frank, and hospit- 
able. Although too often unscrupulous and cruel, they unite many 
of the good qualities of the old Turkish soldier with most of his 
vices. They love hard-drinking and gambling, staking their 

bonnes, arms, and even clothes, on the most childish game of chance. 

z 4 


Their pny^ at the same time, is miserably small, rarely exceeding a 
few shillings a month, and they are obliged to plunder the peace- 
able inhabitants to supply their actual wants. The race is now 
fast disappearing before the Nizam, or regular troops, * 

On the second day, accompanied by Mijwell, I visited a large 
mound called Mijdel, on the right bank of the river about five 
miles above Umjerjeh. We rode through the golden meadows, 
crossing the remains of ancient canals and watercourses, and pass- 
ing the ruins of former habitations. A Sheikh of the Buggara 
was with us, an intelligent Arab, whose tribe in times of quiet 
encamp at , Ras-al- Ain near the sources of the Khabour. The 
Aneyza were out on this side of the Euphrates, and were prowling 
over the Desert in search of plunder. As Suleiman Agha declared 
that, without an escort of at least one hundred horsemen, I could 
not go to Ras-al-Ain, I was unable to visit the extensive ruins 
which are said to exist there. 

Ras-al-Ain was once a place of considerable importance. It was 
known to the ancients under the name of Rasina. Benjamin of 
Tudela found two hundred Jews dwelling there in the 12th cen- 
tury.* The Arabs assured me that columns and sculptures still 
mark the site of the ancient city. Their accounts are, however, 
probably exaggerated. 

Mijdel is a lofty platform, surrounded by groups of smaller 
mounds, amongst which may still be traced the lines of streets and 
canals. It is about four or five miles from the ridge of Abd-ul- 
Azeez. These low hills, scantily wooded with dwarf oak, are 
broken into innumerable valleys and ravines, which abound, it is 
said, with wild goats, boars, leopards, and other animals. Accord- 
ing to my Bedouin informants, the ruins of ancient towns and 
villages still exist, but they could only give me the name of one, 
Zakkarah. The hills are crossed in the centre by a road called 
Maghliyah, from an abundant spring. On the opposite side of the 
Khabour, and running parallel with the Abd-ul-Azeez range, is 
another line of small hills, called Hamma, in which there are 
many wells t 

* The name is by some error omitted in the Hebrew text, but it is evident, 
from the distance to Harran, that Kas-al-Ain is meant. Asher (Benjamin of 
Tudela*8 Itinerary), note to passage, vol. ii. p. 128.) points out that it should be 
the sources of the Khabour, not the mouth, as usually translated. 

f The Buggara chief gave me the following names for mounds, in the order 
in which they occur, between Mijdel and Ras-al-Ain. The Gla (Kalah) or Tel 
Romana, a large mound visible from Mijdel ; El Mogas, near a ford and a 
place called El Auja ; El Tumr, about four hours from Umjerjeh, at the junc- 

Chap.xiv,] visit the milli. 313 

The Shammar Bedouins encamp on the banks of this part of 
the Khabour during the hot months. The mound of Mijdel is a 
favorite resort of the Boraij in the "eye of the summer:" the 
waters of the river are always cool> and there is sufficient 
pasture for the flocks and herds of the whole tribe. 

An Arab whom I met in the tent of one of the Hyta-Bashis, 
pretended that he was well acquainted with the ruins called 
Verhan-Shehr*, of which I had so frequently heard from the 
natives of Mardin and the Shammar. He described them as being 
on a hill three days distant from our encampment, and to consist 
of columns, buildings, and sculptured stones like those of Palmyra. 
The Turkish Government at one time wished to turn the ancient 
edifices into barracks, and to place a garrison in the place to keep 
the Arabs in check. 

In the evening Mohammed Emin left us. Suleiman Agha had 
already invested him with a robe of honor, and had prevailed 
upon him to join with Ferhan in taking measures for the re- 
covery of the plundered treasure. The scarlet cloak and civil 
treatment had conciliated the Jebour chief, and when he parted 
with the Turkish commander in my tent there was an unusual 
display of mutual compliments and pledges of eternal friendship. 
Mijwcll looked on with indignant contempt, swearing between his 
teetli that all Jebours were but degenerate, ploughing Arabs, and 
curbing the whole order of temminahs.^ 

We were detained at Umjerjeh several days by the severe illness 
of Mr. Ilormuzil Kassam. I took the opportunity to visit the 
tents of the Milli, whose chief, MoUsa Agha, had invited us to a 
fva^t. On our way thither we passed several encampments of 
Cliiohi, Sherrabeen, and Ilarb, the men and women running out 
and prej<.'*ing us to stop and eat bread. The spacious tent of the 
chief was divided by i>artition8 of reeds tastefully interwoven 
with rnlorcd wool. The coolest part of the salamlik had been 
prejKircd for our reception, and was spread with fine carpets and 

tion of the Zorgan, a small stream coming from Ghours, In the mountains to the 
w«-«.t of Manliii; KlTawileh, a large mound fourteen or fifteen miles from Mij- 
(U'l, uiul ju*»t visible ; Om Kaifah, Tal Jahash, and Gutinah. On the river bank 
opixiT'ite to Mijdel, are several grou|)« of mounds calleil Dibba. Near Kaa-al- 
Am i!> a mound, whether natund or artificial 1 could not ascertain, called £1 

• /. e. The ancient ruined citjr» a name vcrjr generalljr given hy the Turks to 

t 'Hie form of salutation used hy the Turks, consisting of rabing the hand 
from the breast, or tometimes from the ground, to the forehead. 


silken coBhions. The men of the tribe, amongBt whom were many 
tall and handsome yoaths, were dressed in dean and beconung 
garments. They assembled in great nnmbersy but left the top of 
the tent entirely to ns, seating themselves, or standing at the 
sides and bottom, which was wide enough to admit twenty-four 
men crouched together in a row. The chief and lua brothers, 
followed by their servants bearing trays loaded with cups, presented 
the coffee to their guests. 

After some conversation we went to the harem, and were re- 
ceived by his mother, a venerable lady, with long dlvery locks 
and a dignified countenance and demeanor. Her dress was of the 
purest white and scrupulously dean. Altogether she was almost 
the only comely old woman I had seen amongst Eastern tribes. 
The wives and daughters of the chiefs, with a crowd oi women, 
were collected in the tent. Amongst them were many distin- 
guishcd by their handsome features. They had not the rich olive 
complexion or graceful carriage of the Bedouin girls, nor their 
piercing eyes or long black eyelashes. Their beauty was more 
European, some having even light hair and blue eyes. It was 
evident, at a glance, that they were of a different race firom the 
wandering tribes of the Desert. 

The principal ladies led us into the private compartment, divided 
by colored screens from the rest of the tent. It was furnished 
with more than usual luxury. The cushions were of the choicest 
silk, and the carpets (in the manufacture of which the Milli excel) 
of the best fabric. Sweetmeats and coffee had been prepared for 
us, and the women did not object to partake of them at the same 
time. Mousa Agha's mother described the various marriage cere- 
monies of the tribe. Our account of similar matters in Europe 
excited great amusement amongst the ladies. The Milli girls are 
highly prized by the Kurds. Twenty purses, nearly 100^, we were 
boastingly told, had been given for one of unusual attractions. The 
chief pointed out one of his own wives who had cost him that sum. 
Other members of the same establishment had deserved a less ex- 
travagant investiture of money. The prettiest girls were called 
before us, and the old lady appraised each, amidst the loud 
laughter of their companions, who no doubt rejoiced to see their 
friends valued at their true worth. They were all tatooed on the 
arms, and on other parts of the body, but less so than the Bedouin 
ladies. The operation is performed by Arab women, who wander 
from tent to tent for the purpose. Several were present, and 
wished to give us an immediate proof of their skill upon ourselves. 

Chap. XIV.] THE MILLI. 315 

We declined however. It is usually done at the age of six or 
Beven : the punctures are made hj a needle^ and the blue color is 
produced by a mixture of gunpowder and indigo rubbed into the 
wounds. The process is tedious and painful^ as the designs are 
frequently most elaborate^ covering the whole body. The Kurdish 
ladies do not, like the Mussulman women of the town^ conceal their 
features with a veil ; nor do they object to mingle* or even eat^ 
with the men. During my stay at Umjerjeh I invited the harem 
of the Chichi chief, and their friends, to a feast in my tent — an 
invitation they accepted with every sign of satisfaction. 

The Milli were formerly one of the wealthiest Kurdish tribes. 
Early in this century, when the hereditary chiefs in different parts 
of the empire were still almost independent of the Porte, this clan 
held the whole plain country between the hills of Mardin and the 
Khabour, exacting a regular baj, or black-mail, from caravans and 
travellers passing through their territories. This was a fruitful source 
of revenue when an extensive commerce was carried on between 
Aleppo and Baghdad, and the Aghas were frequently, on account 
of their wealth and power, raised to the rank of pashas by the 
Sultan. The last was Daoud Pasha, a chief well-known in 
Mesopotamia. Like other Kurdish tribes, the Milli had been 
brought under the immediate control of the local governors, and 
were now included within the pashalic of Diarbekir. They still 
I)08sc8sed all the riches that nomad es can well i)ossess, when they 
were wantonly plundered, and almost reduced to want, by the 
Turki^jh trooi)s three years ago. Although the Porte openly con- 
demned the outrage, and had promised compensation, no step what- 
ever had been taken to restore the stolen property, the greater part 
of which had ] massed into the government treasury. 

We had an excellent dinner in the salamlik, varied by many 
savoury dii*hcs and delicacies sent from the harem : such as truffles, 
dressed in different ways, several preparations of milk and cream ; 
honey, curds, &c. After we had retired, the other guests were 
called to the feast by relays. The chief, however, always remained 
seated before the dishes, eating a little with all, and leaving his 
brother to summon those who were invited ; such being the custom 
amongst these Kurds. 

Mijwell, during our visit, had been seated in a comer, his eyes 
wandering from the tent and its furniture to the horses and mares 
picketed without, and to the flocks pasturing around. lie cast, 
every now and then, significant glances towards me, which said 
plainly enough, ^' All this ought to belong to the Bedouins. These 


people and their property were made for ghazous^^ As we rode 
away I accused him of evil intentions. ^^ Billah, ya Bej I " said 
be, '^ there is, indeed, enough to make a man's heart grow white 
with envy ; but I have now eaten his bread under your shadow, 
and should even his stick, wherewith he drives his camel, fall into 
my hand, I would send it to him." He entertained me, as we re* 
turned home, with the domestic affairs of bis family. £athaiyah 
had offered herself in marriage to Suttum, and not he to her ; a 
common proceeding, it would appear, among the Bedouins. Sut- 
tum had consented, because he thought it politic to be thus allied 
with the Abde, one of the most powerful branches of the Sham- 
mar, generally at war with the rest of the tribe. But his new 
wife, besides having sent away her rival, had already offended his 
family by her pride and haughtiness. Mijwell rather looked upon 
his brother with pity, as a henpecked husband. He himself, al- 
though already married to one wife, and betrothed to Maizi, whom 
he would soon be able to claim, was projecting a third marriage. 
His heart had been stolen by an unseen damsel, whose beauties and 
virtues had been the theme of some wandering Arab rhymers, 
and she was of the Fedhan Aneyza, the mortal enemies of the 
Shammar. Her father was the sheikh of the tribe, and his tents 
were on the other side of the Euphrates. The difficulties and 
dangers of the courtship served only to excite still more the ardent 
mind of the Bedouin His romantic imagination had pictured a 
perfection of loveliness ; his whole thoughts were now occupied in 
devising the means of possessing this treasure. * He had already 
apprised the girl of his love by a trusty messenger, one of her own 
tribe, living with the Shammar. His confidant had extolled the 
graces, prowess, and wealth of the young Sheikh, with all the elo- 
quence of a Bedouin poet, and had elicited a favorable reply. 
More than one interchange of sentiments had, by such means, since 
passed between them. The damsel had, at last, promised him her 
hand, if he could claim her in her own tent. Mijwell had now 
planned a scheme which he was eager to put into execution. 
Waiting until the Fedhan were so encamped that he could ap- 
proach them without being previously seen, he would mount 
his deloul, and leading his best mare, ride to the tent of the girFs 
father. Meat would, of course, be laid before him, and having 
eaten he would be the guest, and under the protection of the 

* Burckhardt remarks that " Bedouins are, perhaps, the only people of the 
East that can be entitled true lovers." (Notes on Bedouins, p. 155.) 


Sheikh. On the following morning he would present his mare, 
describing her race and qualities, to his host, and ask his daughter ; 
offering, at the same time, to add any other gift that might be 
thought worthy of her. The father, who would probably not be 
ignorant of what bad passed between the lovers, would at once 
consent to the union, and give back the mare to his future son-in-r 
law. The marriage would shortly afterwards be solemnised, and 
an alliance would thus be formed between the two tribes. Such 
was Mij well's plan, and it was one not unfrequently adopted by 
Bedouins under similar circumstances. 

A Bedouin will never ask money or value in kind for his 
daughter, as fathers do amongst the sedentary tribes and in towns, 
where girls are literally sold to their husbands, but he will consult . 
her wishes, and she may, as she thinks fit, accept or reject a suitor, 
80 long as he be not her cousin. Presents are frequently made by 
the lover to the damsel herself before marriage, but rarely to the 
parents. Although the Bedouin chiefs have sometimes taken wives 
from the towns on the borders of the Desert, such as Mosul, Bagh- 
dad, or Aleppo, it is very rare to find townspeople, or Arabs of the 
cultivating tribes, married to Bedouin women. I have, however, 
known instances. 

The laws of Dakheel, another very remarkable branch of Be- 
douin legislation, in force amongst the Shammar, are nearly the 
same as those of the Ancyza and Iledjaz Arabs, of which Burckhardt 
has given so full and interesting an account. I have little, there- 
fore, to add upon the subject, but its importance demands a few 
words. No customs are more religiously, respected by the true 
Arab than those regulating the mutual relations of the protected 
and protector. A vit>lation of Dakliccl (as this law is called) would 
be considered a disgrace not only u|K)n the individual but upon his 
family, and even upon his tribe, which never could be wiped out. 
No f^reatcr insult can be offered to a man, or to his clan, than to 
say that he has broken the Dakheel. A disregard of this sacred 
obligation is the first symptom of degeneracy in an Arab tribe ; and 
when once it exists, the treachery and vices of the Turk rapidly 
puccec<l to the honesty and fidelity of the true Arab character. 
The relations between the Dakheel and the Dakhal (or the pro- 
tector and protected) arise from a variety of circumstances, the 
principal of which are, eating a man's salt and bread, and claiming 
his protection by doing certain acts, or repeating a certain formula 
of words. Amongst the Shammar, if a man can seize the end of 
a string or thread, the other end of which is held by his enemy, be 


immediately becomes his Dakheel.* If he touch the canvas of 
a tent, or can even throw his mace towards it, he is the Dakheel of 
its owner. If he can spit upon a man, or touch any article belong- 
ing to him with his teeth, he is Dakhal, unless of course, in case 
of theft, it be the person who caught him. A ^voman can protect 
any number of persons, or even of tents, f If a horseman ride into 
a tent, he and his horse are Dakhal. A stranger who has eaten 
with a Shammar, can give Dakheel to his enemy; for instance, I 
could protect an Aneyza, though there is blood between his tribe 
and the Shammar. According to Mijwell, any person, by pre- 
viously calling out "NufFa" (I renounce), may reject an applica- 
tion for Dakheel. 

The Shammar never plunder a caravan within sight of their 
encampment, for as long as a stranger can see their tents they 
consider him their Dakheel. If a man who has eaten bread and 
slept in a tent, steal his host's horse, he is dishonored, and his 
tribe also, unless they send back the stolen animal. Should the 
horse die, the thief himself should be delivered up, to be treated as 
the owner of the stolen property thinks fit. If two enemies meet 
and exchange the ^* Salam aleikum " even by mistake, there is 
peace between them, and they will not fight. It is disgraceful to 
rob a woman of her clothes ; and if a female be found amongst a 
party of plundered Arabs, even the enemy of her tribe will give 
her a horse to ride back to her tents. If a man be pursued by an 
enemy, or even be on the ground, he can save his life by calling 
out " Dakheel," unless there be blood between them. It would be 
considered cowardly and unworthy of a Shammar to deprive an 

* For the very singular customs as to the confinement and liberation of a 
haramy^ or robber, and of the relation between a rabcU and his rabUt, or the 
captor and the captive, see Burckhardt*s Notes on the Bedouins, p. 89. I can 
bear witness to the truth and accuracy of his account, having during my early 
wanderings amongst the Bedouins witnessed nearly everything he describes. 
The English reader can have no correct idea of the habits and manners of the 
wandering tribes of the Desert, habits and manners probably dating from the 
remotest antiquity, and consequently of the highest interest, without reading 
the truthful descriptions of this admirable traveller. 

f In the winter of the year my residence in Babylonia, after an engage- 
ment near Baghdad, between the Boraij and the Turkish regular troops, in 
which the latter were defeated, a flying soldier was caught within sight of an 
encampment. His captors were going to 'put him to death, when he stretched 
his hands towards the nearest tent, claiming the Dakheel of its owner, who 
chanced to be Sahiman, Mijwell*s eldest brother. The Sheikh was absent from 
home, but his beautiful wife Noura answered to the appeal, and seizing a 
tent-pole beat off his pursuers, and saved his life. This conduct was much 
applauded by the Bedouins. 

chap.xit.] the laws of dakheel. 319 

enemy of his camel or horse where he could neither reach water or 
an encampment. When Bedouins meet persons in the midst of 
the Desert, tbey will frequently take them within a certain distance 
of tents, and, first pointing out their site, then deprive them of 
their property. 

An Arab who has given his protection to another, whether 
formally, or by an act which confers the privilege of Dakheel, is 
bound to protect his Dakhal under all circumstances, even to the 
risk of his own property and life. I could relate many in- 
stances of the greatest sacrifices having been made by individuals, 
and even of whole tribes having been involved in war with power- 
ful enemies by whom they have been almost utterly destroyed, in 
defence of this most sacred obligation. Even the Turkish rulers 
respect a law to which they may one day owe their safety, and 
more than one haughty Pasha of Baghdad has found refuge and 
protection in the tent of a poor Arab Sheikh, whom, during the 
days of his prosperity, be had subjected to every injury and wrong, 
and yet who would then defy the government itself, and risk his 
very life, rather than surrender his guest. The essence of Arab 
virtue is a respect for the laws of hospitality, of which the Dakheel 
in all its various forms is but a part. 

Amongst the Bedouins who watched our camels was one Saoud, 
a poet of renown amongst the tribes. With the exception of a 
few ballads that he had fonnerly compose<l in honor of Sofuk, and 
other celebrated Shnmmar Sheikhs, he chiefly recited extemporary 
Btanzas on passing events, or on persons who were present. He 
would sit in my tent of an evening, and sing his verses in a wild, 
though plaintive, strain, to the great delight of the assembled 
guests, and particularly of Mijwell, who, like a true Bedouin, was 
easily affected by poetry, especially with such as might touch his 
own passion for the unknown lady. He would sway his body to 
nnd fro, keeping time with the measure, sobbing aloud as the poet 
sung the death of his companions in war, breaking out into loud 
laughter when the burden of the ditty was a satire upon his friends, 
making extraordinary noises and grimaces to show his feelings, 
more like a drunken man than a sober Bedouin. But when the 
bunl improvised an amatory ditty, the young chief's excitement was 
ahno8t beyond control The other Bedouins were scarcely less 
moved by these rude measures, which have the same kind of effect 
on the wild tribes of the Persian mountains. Such verses, 
clmunted by their self-taught poets, or by the girls of their en- 
campment, will drive warriors to the combat, fearless of deatli, or 


prove an ample reward on their return from the dangerd of the 
ghazou or the fight. The excitement they produce exceeds that of 
the grape. He who would understand the influence of the Ho- 
meric ballads in the heroic ages, should witness the effect which 
similar compositions have upon the wild nomades of the East. 
Amongst the Kurds and Lours I have not met with bards who 
chanted extemporary verses. Episodes from the great historical 
epics of Persia, and odes from their favorite poets, are recited during 
war or in the tents of their chiefs. But the art of improvising 
seems innate in the Bedouin. Although his metre and mode of 
recitation are rude to European ears, his rich and sonorous language 
lends itself to this species of poetry, whilst his exuberant imagina- 
tion furnishes him with endless beautiful and appropriate allegories. 
The wars between the tribes, the ghazouy and their struggles with 
the Turks, are inexhaustible themes for verse, and in an Arab tent 
there is little else to afford excitement or amusement. The Bedouins 
have no books ; even a Kor^n is seldom s^en amongst them : it is 
equally rare to find a wandering Arab who can read. They have 
no written literature, and their traditional history consists of little 
more than the tales of a few storytellers who wander from encamp- 
ment to encampment, and earn their bread by chanting verses to 
the monotonous tones of a one-stringed fiddle made of a gourd 
covered with sheep-skin. 

The extemporary odes which Saoud sung before us were chiefly 
in praise of those present, or a good-natured satire upon some of 
our party. 

The day of our departure now drew nigh, and Suleiman Agha, to 
do us honor, invited us to a general review of the irregular troops 
under his command. The horsemen of the Milli and Chichi Kurds, 
and of the Arab tribes who encamped with them, joined the Turkish 
cavalry, and added to the interest and beauty of the display. The 
Hyta-Bashis were, as usual, resplendent in silk and gold. There 
were some high-bred horses in the field ; but the men, on the whole, 
were badly mounted, and the irregular cavalry is daily degenerating 
throughout the empire. The Turkish Government have unwisely 
neglected a branch of their national armies to which they owed most 
of their great victories, and at one time their superiority over all 
their neighbours. The abolition of the Spahiliks, and other mili- 
tary tenures, has, of course, contributed much to this result, and 
has led to the deterioration of that excellent breed of horses which 
once distinguished the Ottoman light cavalry. No effort is now 
made by the government to keep up the race, and the scanty pay 

Chap. XIV.] 



of the irregular troops is not sufficient to eoable them to obtain evea 
second-rate anitDals. Everything has been sacrificed to the regular 
army, undoubtedly an essential clement of national defence ; but 
in a future war the Turks will probably find reoaoa to regret that 
they have altogether sacrificed to it the ancient irregular horse. 

The Kurds, although encumbered by their long flowing gar- 
nients and huge turbans, arc not bad horsemen. Mijwell, however, 
as he scanned the motley crowd with his eagle eye, iocluded them 
all in one expression of ineffable contempt. 



1 TBB DE8E>T. 

Mr. Hormuzd RasSah having Bufficiently recovered from his dan- 
gerous illness to be able to ride a deloul, and no remains, except 
pottery and bricks, having been discovered in the mounds of Um- 
jerjeh, we left, the encampment of Suleiman Agha on the 29th 
of April, on our return to Mosul. We crossed the Jerujer near 
its junction with the Khabour, where two mounds, named AI 
Haaieha and Abou-Bekr, rise on the left bank of the river. 

We again visited the remarkable volciinic cone of Koukab. As 
we drew near to it, Mijwell detected, in the loose soil, the foot- 
prints of two men, which he immediately recognised to be those of 
Shammar thieves returning from the Kurdish encampments. The 
sagacity of the Bedouin in determining from such marks, whether 

Chjlp. xv.] ahab sagacity. 323 

of man or beast, and, from similar indications, the tribe, time of 
passing, and business, of those who may have lefl them, with many- 
other particulars, is well known. In this respect he resembles the 
American Indian, though the circumstances differ under which the 
two are called upon to exercise this peculiar faculty. The one 
seeks or avoids his enemy in vast plains, which, for three-fourths 
of the year, are without any vegetation ; the other tracks his prey 
through thick woods and high grass. This quickness of perception 
is the result of continual observation and of caution encouraged 
from earliest youth. When the warriors of a tribe are engaged in 
distant forays or in war, their tents and flocks are frequently left 
to the care of a mere child. He must receive strangers, amongst 
whom may be those having claims of blood upon his family, and 
must guard against marauders, who may be lurking about the en- 
campment. Every unknown sign and mark must be examined and 
accounted for. If he should see the track of a horseman he must 
ask himself why one so near the dwellings did not stop to eat bread 
or drink water ? was he a spy ; one of a party meditating an attack ? 
or a traveller, who did not know the site of the tents ? When did 
he pass ? From whence did he come? Whilst the child in a civilised 
country is still under the care of its nurse, the Bedouin boy is 
compelled to exercise his highest faculties, and on his prudence and 
8a{:racity may sometimes depend the safety of his tribe. 

The expert Bedouin can draw conclusions from the footprints and 
dung of animals that would excite the astonishment of an European. 
He will tell whether the camel was loaded or unloaded, whether 
recently fed or suffering from hunger, whether fatigued or fresh, 
the time when it |)assed by, whether the owner was a man of the 
desert or of the town, whether a friend or foe, and sometimes 
even the name of his tribe. I have frequently been cautioned by 
my Bedouin companions, not to dismount from my dromedary, that 
my footsteps might not be recognised as those of a stranger; and 
my deloul lias even l)een led by my guide to prevent those who 
might cross our path detecting that it was ridden by one not 
thofniighly accustomed to the management of the animal. It 
wouhl l>e easy to explain the means, simple enough indeed, by 
which the Arab of the Desert arrives at these results. In each 
cai>e there is a train of logical deduction, merely requiring common 
acuteness and great experience. 

Wc encami>cd for the night near the mound of Thenenir, and 
re:*umed our journey on the following morning. Bidding farewell 

T 2 


to the pleasant banks of the Khabour, we struck into the Desert 
in the direction of the Sinjar. Extensive beds of gypsum^ or 
alabaster, such as was used in the Assyrian edifices, formed for 
some miles the surface of the plain. Its salt and nitrous exuda- 
tions destroy vegetation, unless there be sufficient soil about it to 
nourish the roots of herbs ; generally, only the cracks and fissures 
in the strata are marked by lines of grass and flowers crossing the 
plain like the meshes of a many-colored net. 

We soon approached a dense mass of reeds and rank herbage, 
covering a swamp called the Hoi, which extends from the Lake of 
Khatouniyah to within a short distance of the Khabour. This 
jungle is the hiding-place of many kinds of wild beasts : lions 
lurk in it, and in the thick cover the Bedouins find their cubs. 
As we drew near to the first spring that feeds the marsh, about 
eight miles from Thenenir, we saw a leopard stealing from the 
high grass. When pursued, the animal turned and entered the 
thickets before the horseman could approach it. 

When we reached the head spring of the Hoi, the Jebours fired 
the jungle, and the flames soon spread far and wide. Long after 
we had left the marsh we could hear the crackling of the burning 
reeds, and until nightfall the sky was darkened by thick volumes 
of smoke. 

During our journey an Arab joined us, riding on a deloul, with 
his wife. His two children were crammed into a pair of saddle 
bags, a black head peeping out of either side. He had quarrelled 
with his kinsmen, and was moving with his family and little pro- 
perty to another tribe. 

After a six hours' ride we found ourselves upon the margin of a 
small lake, whose quiet surface reflected the deep blue of the 
cloudless sky. To the south of it rose a line of low undulating 
hills, and to the east the furrowed mountain of the Sinjar. On all 
other sides was the Desert, in which this solitary sheet of water 
lay like a mirage. In the midst of the lake was a peninsula, 
joined to the mainland by a narrow causeway, and beyond it a 
small island. On the former were the ruins of a town, whose fall- 
ing walls and towers were doubled in the clear waters. It would 
be difficult to imagine a scene more calm, more fair, or more un- 
looked for in the midst of a wilderness. It was like fairyland. 

The small town of Khatouniyah was, until recently, inhabited 
by a tribe of Arabs. A feud, arising out of the rival pretensions 
of two chiefs, sprang up amongst them. The factions fought, many 
persons were killed, and the place was consequently deserted, one 




party joining the Tai Arabs near Nisibin, the other the Yezidis of 
Keraniyah. We traced the remains of cultivation, and the dry 
water-Gourses, which once irrigated plots of rice and melon beds. 
The lake may be about six miles in circumference. From its 
abundant supply of water, and its central position between the 
Sinjar and the Khabour, Khatouniyah must at one time have been 
a place of some importance. 

The few remains that exist do not belong to an earlier period 
than the Arab. The small town occupies the whole of the penin- 
sula, and is surrounded by a wall, rising from the water's edge, 
with a gate opening on the narrow causeway. The houses were 
of stone, and the rooms vaulted. In the deserted streets were still 
standing the ruins of a small bazar, a mosque, and a bath. 

The water of the lake, although brackish, like nearly all the 
springs in this part of the Desert, is not only drinkable, but, ac- 
cording to the Bedouins, exceedingly wholesome for man and beast. 
It abounds in fish, some of which are said to be of very consider- 
able size. As we approached the Bairakdar, seeing something 
struggling in a shallow rode to it, and captured a kind of barbel, 
weighing above twenty |)ounds. Waterfowl and waders, of various 
kinds, congregate on the shores. The stately crane and the grace- 
ful egret, with its snow-white plumage and feathery crest, stand 
lazily on its margin ; and thousands of ducks and teal eddy on its 
eurfiicc round tlic unwieldy pelican. 

Our tents were pitched on tlic very water's edge. At sunset a 
few clouds which lingered in the western sky were touched with 
the golden rays of the setting sun. The glowing tints of the 
heavens, and the clear blue shadows of the Sinjar hills, mirrored in 
the motionless lake, imparted a calm to the scene which well 
uiatchcd with the solitude around. 

Wc had scarcely resumed our march in the morning when we 
spied Suttum and Khoraif coming towards us, and urging their 
fleet mares to the top of their si>ced. A Jebour, leaving our 
encampment at Umjerjeh, when Ilormuzd was dangerously ill, 
had {Spread a rcfiort * in the Desert, that he was actually dead. 

• Tlio manner in which rq>orts arc ftpread and cxaggcrate<l in the Desert is 
fn-<pi»-nily hijjhly aniu?«ing. In all encampiuentii there are iille vagabond!i who 
li\«' f>y rarryin;; mws (nnn tribe to tribe, thereby earning a dinner and P|K'nd- 
lU'i* ih«'ir KM.«»ure hours. As soon as a stranger arrive*, and relates anything of 
int«T<*«'t to the AraJ^i, some such fellow will mount his readywdilled dcloul, 
and make the best of his way to retail the news in a neighbouring tent, from 

T 3 


To give additional authenticity to his tale he had minutely de* 
scribed the process by which my companion's body had been first 
salted, and then sent to Frankistan in a box, on a cameL Suttum, 
as we met, showed the most lively signs of grief; but when he saw 
the dead man himself restored to life, his joy and his embraces 
knew no bounds. 

We rode over a low undulating country, at the foot of the Sinjar 
hills, every dell and ravine being a bed of flowers. About five 
miles from Khatouniyah we passed a small reedy stream, called 
Sufleyra^ on which the Boraij (Suttum's tribe) had been encamped 
on the previous day. They had now moved further into the plain, 
and we stopped at their watering-place, a brackish rivulet called 
Sayhel, their tents being about three miles distant from us in the 
Desert. We pitched on a rising ground immediately above the 
stream. Beneath us was the golden plain, swarming with moving 
objects. The Khorusseh, and all the tribes under Ferhan, had 
now congregated to the north of the Sinjar previous to their sum- 
mer migration to the pastures of the Khabour. Their mares, 
camels, and sheep came to Sayhel for water, and during the whole 
day there was one endless line of animals passing to and fro before 
our encampment. I sat watching them from my tent. As each 
mare and horse stopped to drink at the troubled stream, Suttum 
named its owner and its breed, and described its exploits. The 
mares were generally followed by two or three colts, who are 
suffered, even in their third year, to run loose after their dams, and 
to gambol unrestrained over the plain. It is to their perfect free- 
dom whilst young that the horses of the Desert owe their speed and 
the suppleness of their limbs. 

It may not be out of place to add a few remarks on the subject 
of Arab horses. The Bedouins, as it is well known, divide their 
thorough-breds into five races, descended, as some declare, from 
the five favourite mares of the Prophet. The names, however, of 
these breeds vary amongst different. tribes. According to Suttum^ 
who was better acquainted with the history and traditions of the 
Bedouins than almost any Arab I ever met, they are all derived 

whence it is carried, in the same way, to others. It is extraordinary how rapidly 
a report spreads in this manner over a very great distance. Sofuk sent to in- 
form the British resident at Baghdad, of the siege and fall of Acre, many days 
before the special messenger dispatched to announce that event reached the city ; 
and I have frequently rejected intelligence received from Bedouins, on account 
of the apparent impossibility of its coming to me through such a source, which 
has afterwards proved to be true. 

Chap.XY.] ARAB HORSES. 327 

from one original stock, the Koheyleh, which, in course of time, 
was divided, after the names of celebrated mares, into the following 
five branches: — Obey an Sherakh, Hedba Zayhi, Manekia Hed- 
rehji, Shouaymah Sablah, and Margoub.* These form the Kamse, 
or the five breeds, from which alone entire horses are chosen to 
propagate the race. From the Kamse have sprung a number of 
families no less noble, perhaps, than the original five ; but the 
Shammar receive their stallions with suspicion, or reject them al- 
together. Among the best known are theWathna Khersan, so 
called from the mares being said to be worth their weight in gold ; 
(noble horses of this breed are found amongst the Arab tribes in- 
habiting the districts to the east of the Euphrates, the Beni Lam, 
Al Kamees, and Al Kithere ;) Khalawi, thus named from a wonder- 
ful feat of speed performed by a celebrated mare in Southern 
Mesopotamia ; Jaiay thani !> and Julfa. The only esteemed race 
in the Desert which, according to Suttum, cannot be traced to the 
Kamscy is the Saklawi, although considered by the Shammar and 
by the Bedouins of the Gebel Shammar, as one of the noblest, if 
not the noblest, of all. It is divided into three branches, the most 
valued being the Saklawi Jedran, which is said to be now almost 
extinct. The agents of Abbas Pasha, the Viceroy of Egypt, sent 
into all parts of the Desert to purchase the best horses, have 
especially sought for marcs of this breed. The prices given for 
them would appear enormous even to the English reader. A 
Sheikh of the great tribe of the Al Dhofyr was offered and refused 
for a mare no less than 1200/., the ncgociation being carried on 
through Faras, Sheikh of the Montefik, who received handsome 
presents for the trouble he had taken in the matter. As much as 
a thousand pounds is said to have been given to Sheikhs of the 
Ancyzu for well-known mares. So that, had the Pasha's challenge 
been accepted, the best blood in Arabia would have been matched 
against the English racer. During my residence in the Desert I 
saw several horses which werei£urchased for the Viceroy. 

To understand how a man, who has perhaps not even bread 

• According to Burckhardt, the five are, Taueyse, ]^faDekia, Koheylch, 8ak« 
lawi, and Julfa, He probably received these names from the Arabs of the 
Iledjaz, who are less acquainted with the breeds of horses than the Shammar 
or Ant7za Iknlcmins. (Notes on Arabs, p. 1 16^ but at p. 253. he observes, that 
the Xeiljd Arabs do not reckon the Manekia and Julfa in the Kamse.) 

t A well-known horse, named Merjian, long in my possession, and originally 
purchased from the Arabs by my friend Mr. Ross, was of this breed, 

T 4 


to feed himself and his children, can withstand the temptation of 
such large sums^ it must be remembered that, besides the alFection 
proverbially felt by the Bedouin for his mare, which might, per- 
haps, not be proof against such a test, he is entirely dependent 
upon her for his happiness, his glory, and, indeed, his very exist- 
ence. An Arab possessing a horse unrivalled in speed and en- 
durance, and it would only be for such that prices like those I 
have mentioned would be offered, is entirely his own master, and 
can defy the world. Once on its back, no one can catch him. 
He may rob, plunder, fight, and go to and fro as he lists. He 
believes in the word of his Prophet, " that noble and fierce breeds 
of horses are true riches." Without his mare, money would be of 
no value to him. It would either become the prey of some one 
more powerful and better mounted than himself, would be spent 
in festivities, or be distributed amongst his kinsmen. He could 
only keep his gold by burying it in some secret place, and of 
what use would it then be to one who is never two days in the 
same spot, and who wanders over a space of three or four hundred 
miles in the course of a few months ? No man has a keener sense 
of the joys of liberty, and a heartier hatred of restraint, than the 
true Bedouin. Give him the Desert, his mare, and his spear, and 
he will not envy the wealth and power of the greatest of the 
earth. He plunders and robs for the mere pleasure and excitement 
which danger and glory afford. All he takes he divides amongst 
his friends, and he gladly risks his life to get that which is spent 
in an hour. An Arab will beg for a whole day for a shirt or a 
kerchief, and, five minutes after he has obtained it, he will give it 
to the first person who may happen to admire it. 

A mare is generally the property of two or more persons, who 
have a share in her progeny, regulated by custom, and differing ac- 
cording to the tribe. All the offspring of five celebrated mares 
belong by usage to the head of the sub-tribe of the Ahl-Mohammed, 
and whenever horses descended from them are captured by the 
Shammar from the Aneyza or other tribes, they may be claimed 
by him. They are merely brought to Ferhan, the present chief, 
as a matter of form, and he returns them to their captors. Sofuk 
(his father), however, would frequently insist upon his right, and 
bestow valuable mares thus obtained upon his immediate retainers. 
The five breeds are Saklawi Jedran, Emlayah, Margoub, Hedba 
Enzaii, and Hamdaniyah. 

The largest number of horses, as well as those of the most es- 
teemed breeds, are still to be found, as in the time of Burckhardt, 

Crap. XV.] ARAB HORSES. 329 

amongst the tribes who inhabit Mesopotamia and the great plains 
watered by the Euphrates and Tigris. These rich pastures, nou- 
rished by the rains of winter and spring, the climate, and — ac- 
cording to the Arabs — the brackish water of the springs rising in 
the gypsum, seem especially favorable to the rearing of horses. 
The best probably belong to the Shamraar and Aneyza tribes, a 
rivalry existing between the two, and fame giving the superiority 
sometimes to one, sometimes to the other. The mares of the 
Aneyza have the reputation of being the largest and most powerful, 
but as the two tribes are always at war, plundering and robbing 
one another almost daily, their horses are continually changing 

The present Sheikh of the Gebel Shammar, Ibn Reshid, has, I 
am informed, a very choice stud of mares of the finest breeds, and 
their reputation has spread far and wide over the Desert. The 
Nawab of Oude, the Ekbal-ed-Doulah, a good judge of horses, 
who had visited many of the tribes, and had made the pilgrimage to 
the holy cities by the little frequented route through the interior of 
Nedjd, assured me that the finest horses he had ever seen were in 
the possession of the Shereef of Mecca. The Indian market is 
chiefly supplied by the Montefik tribes inhabiting the banks of 
the lower Euphrates; but the purity of their stock has been 
neglected in consequence of the great demand, and a Montefik 
hor«; is not valued by the true Bedouin. Horse-dealers, generally 
of the n)ixc<l Arab tribe of Agayl, pay periodical visits to the 
Shammar and Aneyza to purchase colts for exportation to India. 
They buy horses of high caste, which frequently sell for large 
sums at Bombay. The dealers pay, in the Desert, from 30/. to 
1.30/. for colts of two, three, and four years. The Agayles 
attach less importance to blood than the Bedouins, and provided 
the horse lias points which seem suited to the Indian market, 
they rarely ask his pedigiTC. The Arabs hence believe that Eu- 
ropeans know nothing of blood, which with them is the first con- 

The horses thus purchase<l are sent to Bombay by native vessels 
at a very considerable risk, whole cargoes being lost or thrown 
ovcrlnmrd during ntoniis every year. The trade is consequently 
very precarious, and less flourishing now than it used to be. With 
the exception of one or two great dealers at Baghdad and Busrah, 
most of those who have been engaged in it have been ruined. 

The Arab horse is more remarkable for its exquisite symmetry 
and beautiful proportions, united with wonderful powers of en- 



durance, than for extraordinary speed. I doubt whether any 
Arab of the best blood has ever been brought to England. The 
difficulty of obtaining them is so great, that they are scarcely ever 
seen beyond the limits of the Desert. 

Their color is generally white, light or dark grey, light chesnut, 
and bay, with white or black feet. Black is exceedingly rare, and 
I never remember to have seen dun, sorrel, or dapple. I refer, of 
course, to the true-bred Arab, and not to the Turcoman or to 
Kurdish and Turkish races, which are a cross between the Arab 
and Persian. 

Their average height is from 14 hands to 14|, rarely reaching 
15 ; I have only seen one mare that exceeded it. Notwith- 
standing the smallness of their stature they often possess great 
strength and courage. I was credibly informed that a cele- 
brated mare of the Manekia breed, now dead, carried two men 
in chain armour beyond the reach of their Aneyza pursuers. 
But their most remarkable and valuable quality is the power of 
performing long and arduous marches upon the smallest possible 
allowance of food and water. It is only the mare of the wealthy 
Bedouin that gets even a regular feed of about twelve handfuls of 
barley, or of rice in the husk, once in twenty-four hours. During 
the spring alone, when the pastures are green, the horses of the 
Arabs are sleek and beautiful in appearance. At other times they 
eat nothing but the withered herbs and scanty hay gathered from 
the parched soil, and are lean and unsightly. They are never 
placed under cover during the intense heat of an Arabian summer, 
nor protected from the biting cold of the Desert winds during 
winter. The saddle is rarely taken from their backs, nor are they 
ever cleaned or groomed. Thus apparently neglected, they are 
but skin and bone, and the townsman marvels at seeing an animal, 
which he would scarcely take the trouble to ride home, valued 
almost beyond price. Although docile as a lamb, and requiring no 
other guide than the halter, when the Arab mare hears the war-cry 
of the tribe, and sees the quivering spear of her rider, her eyes 
glitter with fire, her blood-red nostrils open wide, her neck is nobly 
arched, and her tail and mane are raised and spread out to the 
wind. The Bedouin proverb says, that a high-bred mare when at 
full speed should hide her rider between her neck and her tail 

The Shammar Bedouins give their horses, particularly when 
young, large quantities of camels' milk. I have heard of mares 
eating raw flesh, and dates are frequently mixed with their food 

Cbip. XV.3 ARAB HORSES. 33} 


by the tribes living near the mouth of the Euphrates. The 
Shammar and Anejza shoe their horses if possible, and wan- 
dering farriers regularly visit their tents. If an Arab cannot 
afford to shoe his mare entirely, he will shoe her fore-feet. The 
Chaab (or Kiab) do not usually shoe their horses. The shoes, like 
those used in all parts of the £ast, consist of a thin iron plate 
covering the whole foot, except a small hole in the centre. They 
are held by six nails, are clumsily made, and usually more clumsily 
put on. The Arab horse has but two ordinary paces, a quick 
and easy walk, sometimes averaging between four and five miles 
an hour, and a half running canter. The Bedouin rarely puts his 
mare to full speed unless pursued or pursuing. In racing, the 
Arabs, and indeed Easterns in general, have no idea that the 
weight carried by the rider makes any difference. 

I have frequently pointed out to the Turkish authorities the 
fitness of the rich plains watered by the Euphrates and Tigris for 
a government stud. It would be difficult, in the present state of 
things, to induce the Bedouins to place themselves under the 
restraint necessary to such an undertaking ; but there are many 
half-sedentary tribes, who are well acquainted with the manage- 
ment of horses, and know the best pastures of the Desert If 
properly protected and supported they could defy the Bedouins, 
and maintain permanent stations in any part of Mesopotamia. A 
noble race of horses, now rajndly becoming extinct, for the breed 
of true Arabs i^, I believe, daily deteriorating •, and their number 
decreasing, might prove a source of strength and wealth to the 

In the evening, as I was seated before my tent, I observed a 
large party of horsemen and riders on delouls approaching our 
encampment. They stopped at the entrance of the large pavilion 
rc«»erved for guests, and picketing their mares, and turning loose 
their dromedaries adorned with gay trappings, seated themselves 
on the car|)et8. The chiefs were our old friends, Mohammed 
Einin and Ferhan, the great Shanmiar Sheikh. We cordially 
embraced after the Bedouin fashion. I had not seen Ferhan since 

* Hurckhardt ftates that the number of horses in Arabia did not in his time 
exceed 50,000. It has pnibablj considerablj decreased since. The defeat of 
the Wahab^s, the conquest of Arabia, and the occupation of Sjria bj the 
K^^Tptians, hare contributed great! j both to the diminution and deterioration of 
the race. I have had no means of ascertaining, even proximately, the number 
of hon»e5 belonging to such tribes as the Shammar and Anejxa. 


the treacherous murder of his father by Nejib Pasha of Baghdad*, 
to which he alluded with touching expressions of grief, bewailing 
his own incompetency to fill Sofuk's place, and to govern the 
divided tribe. He was now on his way with the Jebour Sheikh to 
recover, if possible, the government treasure, plundered by the 
Hamoud, for which, as head of the Sham mar, he was held respon- 
sible by the Porte. 

After they had eaten of the feast we were able to prepare for 
them, they departed about sunset for the tents of the Jebours. I 
embraced Mohammed Emin for the last tune, and saw him no more 
during my residence in Assyria. 

The scene at the watering-place at Sayhel was so changing and 
varied, that I had little cause to regret a delay of two days on the 
spot. Long before dawn the sheep and camels gathered round 
the spring, and it was night before the last shepherd had driven 
away his flocks. My tents, moreover, were filled with Bedouins 
from various tribes, who supplied me with information, and enter- 
tained me with traditions and tales of the Desert. 

On the 4th of May we made a short day's journey of five hours 
to a beautiful stream issuing from the Sinjar hill, beneath the 
village of Khersa or Chersa. A Bedouin of the Boraij tribe 
accompanied us riding on a swift white dromedary of a true Nedjd 
breed. This animal was scarcely taller than a large English horse. 
It had been captured by its present owner with another of the same 
race, and several ordinary camels, during a three months' ghazou^ 
or plundering expedition, which he had undertaken with the war- 
riors of his tribe into the interior of Arabia. 

Leaving the plain, which was speckled as far as the eye could 
reach with the flocks and tents of the Bedouins, we skirted the 
very foot of the Sinjar. Khersa had been deserted by its in- 
habitants, who had rebuilt their village higher up on the side of 
the hill 

Since the loss of Hattab, Suttum had never ceased pining for a 
falcon worthy to take his place. He had been counting the 
hours to his visit to this part of the Sinjar, known only to yield 
to the borders of the Persian Gulf in producing the finest and 
bravest hawks for the chase. The Yezidis carefully preserve their 
nests as hereditary property, in which certain families have a vested 
interest. The young birds, with the exception of one left to pre- 
vent the parents deserting the place, are taken when half-fledged. 

* Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i. p. 113. 

Chip, XV.] BUYING HAWKS. 333 

They are then sold, generally to the Bedouins, for comparatively 
large prices, from five to twenty gazees (1/. to 4/.) being given 
according to the reputation of the nest, whose peculiar qualities 
are a matter of notoriety amongst true sportsmen. Three birds 
only, in each brood, are thought worthy of being trained. The 
first hatched is the most esteemed, and is called ^' Nadir ;" the 
second ranks next, and is known as the '^ Azeez." A hunting- 
hawk of the Sinjar species brought up by hand is called " Charkh." 
It strikes its quarry on the ground, and not in the air, and is prin- 
cipally flown at gazelles, bustards, and hares. The young are sold 
by weight Suttum sat, scales in hand, examining the unfledged 
birdd with the eye of a connoisseur, and weighing them with 
scrupulous care. All that were brought to him were, however, 
rejected, the Sheikh protesting that the Infidels were cheating him, 
and had sold all the nadirs and azeezes to more fortunate 

Next day we made but little progress, encamping near a spring 
under the village of Aldina, whose chief, Murad, had now returned 
from his captivity. Grateful for my intercession in his behalf, he 
brought us sheep and other provisions, and met us with his people 
as wc entered the valley. The Mutcsellim was in his village 
collecting the revenues, but the inhabitants of Nogray had refused 
to contribute the share assigned to them, or to receive the governor, 
IIo begged me to visit the rebellious Yczidis, and the whole day 
was 8i>cnt in devising schemes for a general peace. At length the 
chiefs consented to accompany me to Aldina, and, after some 
reduction in the Salian, to i)ay the taxes. 

During the negociations, Suttum, surrounded by clamorous 
Yezidis, was sitting in the shade, examining and weighing un- 
fledged hawks. At length three were deemed worthy of his 
notice : one being pretty well advanced in days was sent to 
his tent for education, under the charge of the rider of the 
Nedjd dcluul. The others, being yet in a weak state, were 
restored to the nest, to be claimed on his return from Mosul. The 
largest bird, being a very promising specimen, cost five gazees or 
1/. ; the others, three gazees and a half, as the times were hard, 
and the tax-gatherers urgent for ready money. 

We rode on the following day for about an hour along the foot 
of the Sinjar hill, which suddenly subsides into a low undulating 
country. The narrow valleys and ravines were blood-red with 
gigantic poppies. The Bedouins adorned the camels and horses with 
the scarlet fluwersi and twisted them into their own head-drcsi 


and long garments. Even the Tiyari dressed themselves up in the 
gaudy trappings of nature, and as we journeyed chanting an Arab 
war-song, we resembled the return of a festive procession from 
some sacrifice of old. During our weary marches under a burning 
sun, it required some such episodes to keep up the drooping spirits 
of the men, who toiled on foot by our sides. Poetry and flowers 
are the wine and spirits of the Arab ; a couplet is equal to a 
bottle, and a rose to a dram, without the evil eifects of either. 
Would that in more civilised climes the sources of excitement 
were equally harmless I 

The large artificial mound of Tel Shour rose in the plain to the 
right of us. About nine miles from our last encamping place we 
crossed a stream of sweet water named Aththenir, and stopped 
soon after for the day in the bosom of the hills, near some reedy 
ponds, called Fukka, formed by several springs. As this was a well- 
known place of rendezvous for the Bedouins when out on the 
ghazou, Suttum displayed more than usual caution in choosing the 
place for our tents, ascending with Khoraith a neighbouring peak 
to survey the country and scan the plain below. 

In the afternoon the camels had wandered from the encampment 
in search of grass, and we were reposing in the shade of our tents, 
when we were roused by the cry that a large body of men were to 
be seen in the distance. The Bedouins immediately sought to 
drive back their be^ts. Suttum unplatting his long hair, and 
shaking it in hideous disorder over his head and face, and baring 
his arms to the shoulder, leapt with his quivering spear into the 
saddle. Having first placed the camp in the best posture of de-> 
fence I was able, I rode out with him to reconnoitre. But our 
alarm was soon quieted. The supposed enemy proved to be a party 
of poor Yezidis, who, taking advantage of our caravan, were going to 
Mosul to seek employment during the summer. 

In the evening Suttum inveighed bitterly against a habit of some 
travellers of continually taking notes before strangers. I endea* 
voured to explain the object and to remove his fears. " It is all very- 
well," said the Sheikh, " and I can understand, and am willing to 
believe, all you tell me. But supposing the Turks, or any body- 
else, should hereafter come against us, there are many foolish and 
suspicious men in the tribe, and I have enemies, who would say 
that I had brought them, for I have shown you everything. You 
know what would be the consequences to me of such a report. As 
for you, you are in this place to-day, and 100 days' journey off 
to-morrow, but I am always here. There is not a plot of grass or 

Chap. XV.] TAKING N0TE8. 335 

a spring that that man (alluding to one of our party) does not 
write down." Suttum's complaints were not unreasonable, and 
travellers cannot be too cautious in this respect, when amongst in- 
dependent tribes, for even if they do not bring difficulties upon 
themselves, they may do so upon others. 

We had a seven hours' ride on the delouls, leaving the caravan 
to follow, to the large ruin of Abou Maria *, passing through Tel 
Afer. The Jehesh were encamped about two miles from the place. 
My workmen had excavated for some time in these remarkable 
mounds, and had discovered chambers and several enormous slabs 
of Mosul marble, but no remains whatever of sculpture. They 
bad, however, dug out several entire bricks bearing the name of the 
founder of the north-west palace at Nimroud, but unaccompanied 
by that of any town or temple. The ruins are of considerable 
extent, and might, if fully explored, yield some valuable relics. 

A short ride of three hours brought us to Eski (old) Mosul, on 
the banks of the Tigris. According to tradition this is the original 
site of the city. There are mounds, and the remains of walls, 
which are probably Assyrian. Upon them are traces of build- 
ings of a far more recent period. My workmen had opened 
sevenil trenches and tunnels in the principal ruin, and at a subse- 
quent period Awad, with a party of Jehesh, renewed the exca- 
vations in it, but no relics throwing any light upon its history were 

Mosul was still nine caravan hours distant, and we encamped 
the next night at Ilamaydat, where many of our friends came out 
to meet us. On the 10th of May we were again within the walls 
of the town, our desert trip having been accomplished without any 
nrL*ihap or accident whatever. 

Suttum left us two days after for his tents, fearing lest he 
pliould be too late to join the wamors of the Khorusseh, who 
had planned a grand yhazou into Ne<ljd. They were to be away 
fur thirty days, and cxi)ccted to bring back a great spoil of mares, 
drouudariei?, and camels. As for three days they would meet with 
no wells, they could only ride their delouls, each animal carrying a 
s{H'arii)an and a musketeer, with their skins of water and a scanty 
stoc-k of provisions. They generally contrive to return from these 
ex|)cdition8 with considerable booty. Suttum urged me to accom- 
pany them ; but I had long renounced such evil habits, and other 

* I havo el^owhcn* described the ruins and springs of Abou Maria. (Nineveh 
and it-« Ueuiains, tuI. i. p. 31*2.) 



[Chap. XT. 

occupations kept me lu Mosul. Finding that I was not to be per- 
suaded, and that the time was at length come for us to part, he 
embraced me, crammed the presents we had made to himself and 
his wives into bis saddle-bi^s, and, mounting his deloul, rode off 
with Mijweli towards the Desert. 



Driiixu my absence id tlif Descrl, the cxcuvations at Kouyunjik 
liuil l>ccn aclivvly currivd uit iiii<J<;r the BU[>cnnten<lencc uf Toma 
Slii»liiiian. On my arrival lie described tunny inttrceting dia- 
cincrice, and I liustcncd to llic ruiu3, crosBing in n rude fcrrj-lwat 
ilie river, now avvullon, by tliu 0|>ring niinv, lu mure tliun double itjj 
iiiiuiil aizc.* 

* 'Ilie Tit;ri« tbia jcu- hwl riten mucb hiylicr than uiubI. I bare olrcfti)/ 
iii<'iiii»ii>.il thai (he ptjin <>r Xliiirouil «u coiuiik-tulj umk-r »»ti;r ; o|>}i(bil« 
Miflul the lluvit niiarlj' remcbtil the niuunJ* ol' Kiiujuiijik kiul Ki-bbi Yuniu. 


The earth had been completely removed from the sides of the 
long gallery, on the walls of which had been portrayed the trans- 
port of the large stone and of the winged bulls.* An outlet was 
discovered near its western end, opening into a narrow descending 
passage ; an entrance, it would appear, into the palace from the 
river side.f Its length was ninety-six feet, its breadth not more 
than thirteen. The walls were panelled with sculptured slabs about 
six feet high.J Those to the right, in descending, represented a 
procession of servants carrying fruit, flowers, game, and supplies for 
a banquet, preceded by mace-bearers. The first servant following 
the guard bore an object which I should not hesitate to identify 
with the pineapple, unless there were every reason to believe that 
the Assyrians were unacquainted with that fruit. The leaves sprout- 
ing from the top proved that it was not the cone of a pine tree or 
fir. After all, the sacred symbol held by the winged figures in 
the Assyrian sculptures, may be the same fruit, and not, as I have 
conjectured, that of a coniferous tree.§ 

The attendants who followed carried clusters of ripe dates and 
flat baskets of osier-work, filled with pomegranates, apples, and 
bunches of grapes. They raised in one hand small green boughs 
to drive away the flies. Then came men bearing hares, partridges, 
and dried locusts fastened on rods. The locust has ever been an 
article of food in the East, and is still sold in the markets of many 
towns in Arabia. || Being introduced in this bas-relief amongst 
the choice delicacies of a banquet, it was probably highly prized by 
the Assyrians. 

The locust-bearers were followed by a man with strings of pome- 

♦ No. XLIX. Plan I. f No. LI. same Plan. 

I The figures are about 4^ feet in height. 

§ It has been suggested to me that the object carried by the winged figures 
may be the fruit of the fan palm, a tree whose general usefulness has rendered 
it sacred to the natives of parts of South America, but which, as far as I am 
aware, could not have grown in Assyria, or in any countries visited by the 

II Burckhardt (Notes on the Bedouins, p. 269.) gives the following account of 
the mode of preparing them : — " The Arabs in preparing locusts as an article of 
food, throw them alive into boiling water, with which a good deal of salt has 
been mixed : after a few minutes they are taken out and dried in the sun. The 
head, feet, and wings are then torn off; the bodies are cleansed from the salt and 
perfectly dried ; after which process whole sacks are filled with them by the 
Bedouins. They are sometimes eaten broiled in butter ; and they often con- 
stitute materials for a breakfast when spread over unleavened bread mixed 
with butter." It has been conjectured that the locust eaten by John the 
Baptist in the wilderness was the fruit of a tree ; but it is more probable that 
the prophet used a common article of food, abounding even in the Desert. 


m 1^1 


J) vd 












(■ ' WW-W 



granates ; then caiifc, two by two, attendants carrying on their 
shoulders low tables, such as are still used in the East at feasts, 
loaded with baskets of cakes and fruits of various kinds. The 
procession was finished by a long line of servants bearing vases of 

These figures were dressed in a short tunic, confined at the 
waist by a shawl or girdle. They wore no head-gear, their hair 
falling in curls on their shoulders. 

On the opposite walls of the passage were fourteen horses with- 
out trappings, each horse having a simple halter twisted round its 
lower jaw, by which it was led by a groom. The animals and men 
were designed with considerable truth and spirit. The procession 
was marshalled by a staff-bearer, or chamberlain. The dresses of 
the grooms were richer than those of the banquet-bearers. They 
wore a short tunic and an embroidered belt, and to this was at- 
tached that ornament of fur, or colored fringe, peculiar to the cos- 
tumes of the warriors of the later Assyrian period.* 

It is probable that the sculptures forming the upper end of the 
passage, but now entirely destroyed, represented the king receiving 
this double procession. The passage may have led to the ban- 
queting-hall, or to a chamber, where royal feasts were sometimes 
held, and was therefore adorned with appropriate subjects. At its 
western end the gallery turned abruptly to the north, its walls 
being there built of solid stone-masonry. I lost all further traces 
of it, as the workmen were unable, at that time, to carry on the 
tunnel beneath an accumulated mass of earth and rubbish about 
forty feet thick. I did not, consequently, ascertain its western 
outlet. We had, however, nearly reached the edge of the mound ; 
and as there was no space left for a chamber of any size beyond, 
this passage may have opened on a flight of steps, or on an incline 
leading from the river, and forming a kind of private entrance 
or postern into the palace. 

As the workmen could no longer, without some danger, excavate 
in this part of the ruins, they had returned to the chamber already 
described as containing a series of bas-reliefs representing the cap- 
ture and sack of a large city in the mountains, and as opening into 
the broad gallery on whose walls were depictured the various pro- 

* Specimens of the led horses, and of the figures bearing locusts, are now 
in the British Museum. The slabs in this passage had been so much injured by 
fire, that only a few of them could be removed. See Plates 7, 8, and 9. of 
the 2nd series of the Monuments of Nineveh for the entire series. 

wy/- .' 'a'.*"j//- '■. -e ytt yj/- 


cesses employed by the Assyrians in moving their colossal figures.* 
From this chamber branched to the south a narrow passage f, 
whose sculptured panels had been purposely destroyed. It led into 
a great hall^ which the workmen did not then explore. { They 
continued for a few feet along its western side, and then turning 
through a doorway, discovered a chamber, from which again, 
always following the line of wall, they entered a spacious apart- 
ment §, completely surrounded with bas-reliefs, representing one 
continuous subject. The Assyrian army was seen fording a broad 
river amidst wooded mountains. The sculptor had endeavored to 
convey the idea of a valley by reversing the trees and mountains 
on one side of the stream. Kivulets flowed from the hills to the 
river, irrigating in their course vineyards and orchards. The king 
in his chariot was followed by a long retinue of warriors on foot and 
on horses richly caparisoned, by led horses with even gayer trap- 
pings, and by men bearing on their shoulders his second chariot, 
which had a yoke ornamented with bosses and carvings. He was 
preceded by liis army, the variously accoutred spearmen and the 
bowmen forming separate regiments or divisions. After crossing the 
river they attacked the enemy's strongholds, which they captured 
one by one, putting to death or carrying into captivity their in- 
habitants. Unfortunately, the bas*reliefs describing the general 
result of the campaign, and probably the taking of the principal 
city, had been destroyed. Over one of the castles could be traced 
a few letters, giving no clue, however, to its name or site. The 
captives wore a kind of turban wrapped in several folds round the 
head, and a short tunic confined at the waist by a broad belt. From 
the nature of the country it may be conjectured that the sculp- 
tures represented a campaign in some part of Armenia, and I am 
inclined to identify the river with the Euphrates, near whose head- 
waters, as we learn from the bull inscriptions, Sennacherib waged 
one of his most important wars. 

The slabs at the western end of this chamber were actually 
curved backwards, showing the enormous pressure that must have 
taken place from the falling in of the upper part of the building, 

♦ No. XLVm. Plan L 

t No. XLII. same Plan ; 72 feet long, and 1 1 broad. J No. XTX. same Plan. 

§ Nos. XXIX. and XXXVIII. same Plan. The reader will understand 
the way in which the excavations were here carried on by referring to the 
Plan. It will be perceived that there is an uninterrupted line of wall, along 
which the tunnel was carried, from No XLII. to No. XXXVIII., through 
entrances 6, g^ and^. 



Cuxr. XV 1. 3 



by which not only the alab&ster was bent, but driven into the wall 
of sundried bricks. 

On the north aide of the chamber were two doorways leading 
inter separate apartments. Each entrance was formed by two 
colossal bas-reliefs of Dsgon, 
or the £sh-god. Unfortunately 
the upper part of all thesefigurea 
bad been destroyed, but aa 
the lower remained from above 
the waist we can have no diffi- 
culty in restoring the whole> 
esjiecially as the same image is 
seen entire on a 6ne Aseyriaa 
cylinder of agate in my posses- 
sion. It combined the human ^ape with that of the fish. Tlie 
head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the man, whilst itn 
scaly back and fanlike tail fell as a cloak behind, leaving the human 
limbs and feet exposed. The figure wore a fringed tunic, and bore 
the two sacred emblems, the basket and the cone.* 

Wo can scarcely hesitate to idenlify this mythic form with the 
Cannes, or sacred man-fish, who, according to the traditions pre- 
pi'rved by Berossus, issued from the Erythnean Sea, instructed the 
Chaldseana in all wisdom. In the sciences, and in the fine arts, and 
vv'iis afterwards worshipj>ed as a god in the temples of Baby- 
li>nin. Its body, says the historian, was that of a fiah, but under 
the hfad of a JUh teat that of a man, and to its tail were joined 
women's feet. Five such monsters rose from the Persian Gulf at 
fiihulous intervals of time.-|- It has been conjectured that this myth 
d(.-ni>ti'S the cunijucet of Chaldasa at some remote and prehistoric 
^ [>criod, by a comparatively civilised na- 

/ i\ tiiin coming in ships to the mouth of the 
-iJtH'A Kuplirntes. I luid already { identified 
l\ with the Babylonian idol a figure in a 
*■ bns-rclief at Khoreabnd, having the 
human fonn to the waist, and the ex- 
tremities of a fish. Such figures are also 
id on antiijue cylinders and gems, but those at Kou- 
of Beroesus, 

* It \a n 'in irk n I lie that un ihu rjrlintler the >11-M«ing cjc take* (Iw place of 
tbc wiii^-LiI liiiiimn ti){uro anil the glub« in the i-mblem abuvc Ibc lacretl trm. 

t t'orj'f fru;;im>iilii, jiajiv 30. 

{ Sv« NinevL-b and its llcmaina, vol M. p. 4C(1. 

frequently ft 

yunjik agreed even more minutely with the descripti< 


for the human head was actually beneath that of the fish, whilst 
the human feet were added to the spreading tiiil. 

The Dagon of the Philistines and of the inhabitants of the 
Phoenician coast was worshipped, according to the united opinion 
of the Hebrew commentators on the Bible, under the same form.* 
When the ark of the Lord was brought into the great temple 
of the idol at Ashdod, and the statue fell a second time, '^ the 
head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off 
upon the threshold; only the fishy part of Dagon was left to 
him."f His worship appears to have extended over Syria, as well 
as Mesopotamia and Chaldaea. He had many temples, as we learn 
from the Bible, in the country of the Philistines, and it was pro- 
bably under the ruins of one of them that Samson buried the people 
of Gaza who had " gathered them together for to oflFer a great 
sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice." J We also find a 
Beth^Dagon, or the house of Dagon, amongst the uttermost cities 
of the children of Judah §, and another city of the same name in 
the inheritance of the children of Asher.|| 

Colonel Rawlinson states that he has read the name of Dagon 
amongst the gods of the Assyrians in the cuneiform inscriptions. 

The first doorway, guarded by the fish-gods, led into two small 
chambers opening into each other, and once panelled with bas- 
reliefs, the greater part of which had been destroyed. 1[ On a few 
fragments, still standing against the walls, could be traced a city 
on the shore of a sea whose waters were covered with galleys. 
I shall call these chambers " the chambers of records," for, like 
*' the house of the rolls," or records, which Darius ordered to 
be searched for the decree of Cyrus, concerning the building 
of the temple of Jerusalem •*, they appear to have contained 
the decrees of the Assyrian kings as well as the archives of the 

I have mentioned elsewhere ft ^^^ *he historical records and 
public documents of the Assyrians were kept on tablets and cylinders 

♦ The authorities respecting this god are collected in Selden, ** De Dis Syris," 
and in Beyer's commentary. Abarbanel, in his commentary on Samuel, says 
that Dagon had the form of a fish, from the middle downwards, with the feet 
and hands of a man. 

t 1 Sam. y. 4. } Judges, xvi. 23. 

§ Joshua, XV. 41. From the connection of this verse with the 33rd, it would 
appear that the town was in a valley. 

y Joshua, xix. 27. 1 Mac. x. 83. t Nos. XL. and XLT. Plan I. 

** Ezra, vi. 1. W Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 185. 

jfrr-^/Af ^ha^^-^r ^n(WM('nt<4-. 


of baked clay. Many specimens have been brought to this country. 
On a large hexagonal cylinder presented by me to the British 
Museum are the chronicles of Essarhaddon : on a similar cylinder 
discovered in the mound of Nebbi Yunus, opposite Mosul, and for*- 
merly in the possession of the late Colonel Taylor, are eight years 
of the annals of Sennacherib ; and on a barrel-shaped cylinder long 
since placed in the British Museum, and known as Bellino's, we 
have part of the records of the same king.* The importance of 
such relics will be readily understood. They present, in a small 
compass, an abridgment, or recapitulation, of the inscriptions on the 
great monuments and palace walls, giving in a chronological series 
the events of each monarch's reign. The writing is so minute, 
and the letters are so close one to another, that it requires consi- 
derable experience to separate and transcribe them. Fragments 
of other cylinders have also been discovered, and many inscribed 
tablets, from three to six inches in length, have been long preserved 
in England and in various European collections. 

The chambers I am describing appear to have been a depository 
in the palace of Nineveh for such documents. To the height of 
a foot or more from the floor they were entirely filled with them ; 
some entire, but the greater part broken into many fragments, 
probably by the falling in of the upper part of the building. 
They were of different sizes ; the largest tablets were flat, and mea- 
sured about 9 inches by 6^ inches ; the smaller were slightly 
convex, and some were not more than an inch long, with but one 
or two lines of writing. The cuneiform characters on most of them 
were singularly sharp and well defined, but so minute in some 
instances as to be almost illegible without a magnifying glass. 
These documents appear to be of various kinds. Many are his- 
torical records of wars, and distant expeditions undertaken by the 
Assyrians ; some seem to be royal decrees, and are stamped with 
the name of a king, the son of Essarhatldon ; others again, divided 
into parallel columns by horizontal lines, contain lists of the gods, 
and |)rol)ably a register of offerings made in their temple?. On 
one Dr. Hincks has detected a table of the value of certain cunei- 
form letters, expressed by different alphabetical signs, according to 
various modes of using them ; a most im[)ortant discovery : on 
another, apparently a list of the sacred days in each month ; and 

* In the collection of inscriptions publishe<1 by the Trustect of the British 
Muftcum will be found a transcript of my cylinder; of part of a second, also 
brought bj me to this countrj ; and of Bellino*s. 




on a third, what seems to be a calendar. It is highly probable 
that a record of astronomical observations inn]^ exist amongst 
them, for we know from ancient writers, that the Babylonians in- 
scribed such things upon burnt bricks. As we find from the 

Bavtan inscriptions, that the Assyrians kept a very accurate com- 
putation of time, we may reasonably expect to obtain valuable 
chronological tables and some information as to their methods of 
dividing the year, and even the day. Many are sealed with seals, 
and may prove to be legal contracts or conveyances of land. Others 
bear rolled impressions of those engraved cylinders bo frequently 
found in Babylonia and Assyria, by some believed to be amu- 
lets. The characters appear to have been formed by a very deli- 
cate instrument before the clay was hardened by fire, and the 
process of accurately making letters so minute and complicated 
must have required considerable ingenuity and experience. On 
some tablets are found Phtenician, or cursive Assyrian characters 
and other signs. 

The adjoining chambers contained similar relics, but in far 
smaller numbers. Many cases were filled with these tablets before 


I left Assyria, and a vast number of them have been found, I under- 
stand, since my departure. A large collection of them is already 
deposited in the British Museum. We cannot overrate their value. 
They furnish us with materials for the complete decipherment of 
the cuneiform character, for restoring the language and history of 
Assyria*, and for inquiring into the customs, sciences, and, we 
may perhaps even add, literature, of its people.! The documents 
that have thus been discovered at Nineveh probably exceed all that 
have yet been afforded by the monuments of Egypt. But years must 
elapse before the innumerable fragments can be put together, and 
the inscriptions transcribed for the use of those who in England and 
elsewhere may engage in the study of the cuneiform character. It 
is to be hoped that the Trustees of the British Museum will under- 
take the publication of documents of such importance to the history 
of the ancient world. 

The second entrance formed by the fish-gods opened into a 
small chamber, whose sides had been lined with bas-reliefs re- 
presenting the siege of a castle, in a country wooded with fir 
trees, amongst which were long lines of warriors on foot, on horse- 
back, and in chariots.^ But there were no remains of inscription, 
and no peculiarity of costume to identify the conquered people. 

A few days after our return to Mosul, I floated down the river 
on a raft to Nimroud The flood, which had spread over the pliun 
during my absence in the Desert, had destroyed a part of the vil- 
lage. The mud walls of my own house were falling in. The roof 
was supported by a few rude beams, and the rooms with their fur- 
niture were deep in mud and silt The stables and outhouses had 
become a heap of ruins, and the enclosure wall with Ibrahim 
Agha*s loopholes had completely disappeared. The centre of 
the plain of Nimroud was now a large lake, and the cultivated 
fields were overspread with slime. The Shemutti gathered round 
mc as I arrived, and told me of crops destroyed, and of houses 
swept away. 

* Col. Rawlinson states thftt he has found the name of Sargon*8 father and 
grandfather on one of these claj tablets. (Outlines of Assyrian History, 

t Acconling to a tradition, Seth wrote the history and wisdom of the ages 
prt-ccding the Deluge on burnt and unbumt bricks, or tablets, that they might 
n<rver perish ; for if water destroyed the unbumt, the burnt would remain ; and 
if fire destroyed the baked tablets, those which had not been exposed to heat 
would only l>ecome hardened. 

♦ No. XXXIX. Han L 


The workmen had not been idle during my absence and disco- 
Teries of considerable interest and importance had been made in the 
high mound on the level of the artificial platform. The first trenches 
had been opened in the side of the ravine between the ruins of the 
tower and those of the north-west palace. A pavement of large 
square bricks, bearing the usual superscription of the early Nimroud 
king, was soon uncovered. It led to a wall of sundried bricks, 
coated with plaster, which proved to be part of a small temple. 

I have already mentioned * that a superstructure of bricks rested 
upon the stone basement-wall of the tower, at the north-west 
comer of the mound. It was against the eastern and southern faces 
of this upper building that the newly discovered temple abutted. 
Four of its chambers were explored, chiefly by means of tunnels 
carried through the enormous mass of earth and rubbish in which 
the ruins were buried. The great entrances were to the east« The 
principal portal f was formed by two colossal human-headed lions, 
sixteen feet and a half high and fifteen feet long. They were 
flanked by three small winged figures, one above the other, and 
divided by an ornamental cornice, and between them was an in- 
scribed pavement slab of alabaster. In front of each was a square 
stone, apparently the pedestal of an altar, and the walls on both 
sides were adorned with enamelled bricks. 

About thirty feet to the right, or north, of the lion gateway was 
-a second entrance t, at each side of which were two singular figures. 
One was that of a monster, whose head, of fanciful and hideous 
form, had long pointed ears and extended jaws, armed with huge 
teeth. Its body was covered with feathers, its fore-feet were those 
of a lion, its hind legs ended in the talons of an eagle, and it had 
spreading wings and the tail of a bird. Behind this strange image 
was a winged man, whose dress consisted of an upper garment 
with a skirt of skin or fur, an under robe fringed with tassels, 
and the sacred homed hat. A long sword was suspended from 
his shoulders by an embossed belt ; sandals, armlets, and bracelets, 
completed his attire. § He grasped in each hand an object in the 
form of a double trident, resembling the thunderbolt of the Greek 
Jove, which he was in the attitude of hurling against the monster, 
who turned furiously towards him. 

This group appears to represent the bad spirit driven out by a 

♦ Page 125. f Ent. 1. B. Plan II. J Ent.2. B. same Plan. 

§ Plate 5, of 2nd series of the Monuments of Nineveh. 


[t'HiP. XVI 

good deity; a fit subject for the entrance to a temple, dedi- 
cated to the god of war. The singular combinatioD of forms by 
which the Aseyrian sculptor portrayed the evil priuciple, so 
promineut an element in the Chaldaean, and afterwards in the 
Magian, religious system, cannot fail to strike the reader. The 
co-existence of a principle of evil and darkness, with the prin- 
ciple of good and light, their contests for supremacy, the temporary 
success of the former, and its ultimate defeat, appear to have been 
from the earliest periods essential features lo the religious tenets of 
a large portion of mankind. They thus sought to account for the 
antagonistic power of evil, exemplified in man by the bad passions, 
moral and physical infirmities, and death, and in nature by those 
awful phenomena which occasionally visit the face of the earth, or 
even by that periodical decay to which nature herself is sub- 
ject. The belief was not altogether 
confined to the countries watered 
by the Euphrates and Tigris, and to 
Persia. With certain modifications 
it extended westward, and in the 
common impersonificatlon of the evil 
one, which has passed into Christen- 
dom, may perhaps be traced the mon- 
strous forms of the Assyrian demon. 
On the slabs at right angles to these 
sculptures, forming the outer part of 
the entrance, were two colossal human 
figures, without wings, wearing gar- 
lands on their heads, and bearing 
branches ending in three fiowers. 

Within the temple, at right angles 
to the entrance, were sculptured fish- 
gods, somewhat different in form 
from those in the palace of Kouyunjik. 
The fish's head formed ])art of the 
three-horned cap usually worn by the 
winged figures. The tail only reached 
to the wmst of the man, who was 
dressed in the tunic and long furred 
robe, commonly seen in the bas- 
reliefs of Nimroud.' 






* Spccimeos of all these Ggurea are n 

D ihe British Museum. 

ti'-t/^nt'/ir^ /o ,>f'm^/f.W//jA. flfft/'n//'. %'ii^r(td' 


To the right of this entrance, and apparently outside the walla 
of the temple, was discovered one of the finest specimens of As- 
syrian sculpture brought to this country. It represents the early 
Nimroud king in high relief, carved on a solid block of limestone, 
cut into the shape of an arched frame, in the form of the rock 
tablets of Bavian and the Nahr-el-Kelb. The monarch wears his 
sacrificial robes, and carries the sacred mace in his left hand. Bound 
his neck are hung the four sacred signs, the crescent, the star or 
eun, the trident, and the cross. His waist is encircled by the 
knotted cord, and in his girdle are three daggers. Above his head 
are the mythic symbols of Assyrian worship, the winged globe, 
the crescent, the star, the bident, and the homed cap. The entire 
slab, 8 ft. 8 in. high, by 4 ft. 6 in. broad, and I ft 3 in. thick, is 
covered, behind and before, except where the sculpture intervenes, 
with an inscription, in small and admirably formed arrow-headed 
characters. It was fixed on a plain square pedestal and stood 
isolated from the building. In front of it was an altar of stone* 
supported on lions' feet, very much resembling in shape the tripod 
of the Greeks. 

It would seem from the altar before this figure, that the Assy- 
rians, like other nations of old, were in the habit of deifying the 
heroes of their race, and that the king who extended the bounds 
of the empire to distant lands, and raised temples to the gods, 
received after his death divine honors. 

Unfortunately, the heat of the fire which had consumed the build- 
ing, had also broken this monument into two pieces. From the 
carelessness shown in its transport to England, this fine specimen 
of Assyrian sculpture sustained still fui*ther injury, and the lower 
]>art is now almost destroyed. 

The inscription must have contained when entire several hundred 
lines, and is divided on the back of the slabs into two columns. 
It commences with an invocation to the god Ashur, the supreme 
lord, the king of the circle of the twelve great gods. Then follow 
the names of these deities. They are the same as those on 
the black obelisk belonging to the son of the king represented 
on this slab, although they are not placed in the same order, 
which is so far important as it enables us to determine the exact 
name and title of each. These divinities may preside over the 
twelve months, corre8ponding with the same circle in the Egyptian 
niytholojry, with which it is possible they may hereafter, to a cer- 
tain extent, be identified. The first-named is Anu (?), the last 


Ishtar, probably Astarte, or the moon^ and not Venue, as some 
have believed.* 

After this invocation occurs the name of the founder of the 
north-west palace, read by Dr. Hincks, Assaracbal, and by Colonel 
Bawlinson, Sardanapalus, with a long exordium, apparently of a 
religious nature, which has not yet been satisfactorily deciphered. 
Then follows a full account of his various campaigns and wars, of 
which I will give extracts, when I describe similar inscriptions on 
other monuments discovered in the same building. 

The lion entrance led into a chalnber 46 ft. by 19 ft. Its walls 
of sundried brick were coated with plaster, on which the remains 
of figures and ornaments in color could still be faintly traced.f 
Nearly opposite to the entrance was a doorway | panelled with 
slabs sculptured with winged figures carrying maces. Flanking it 
on the four sides were priests wearing garlands. 

The inner door led into a chamber 47 ft. by 31ft.§, ending in 
a recess paved with one enormous alabaster slab, no less than 
21 ft. by 16 ft. 7 in., and 1 ft. 1 in. thick. This monolith had been 
broken into several pieces probably by the falling in of the roof of 
the building, and had in several places been reduced to lime by 
the burning beams of the ceiling. The whole of its surface, as 
well as the side facing the chamber, was occupied by one inscrip- 
tion, 325 lines in length, divided into two parallel horizontal 
columns, and carved with the greatest sharpness and care. On 
subsequently raising the detached pieces, I found that the back 
of the slab, resting on a solid mass of sundried bricks, was also 
covered with cuneiform writing, occupying three columns. It 
is difficult to understand why so much labor should have been 
apparently thrown away upon an inscription which would re- 
main unseen until the edifice itself was utterly destroyed. Still 
more curious is the fact, that whilst this inscription contains all the 
historical details of that on the opposite side, the records of two 
or three more years are added, and that the upper inscription 
stops abruptly in the middle of a sentence. It is possible that the 
builders of the temple, foreseeing its ruin, had determined that if 
their enemies should through malice deface their annals, there 
tjhould still remain another record, inaccessible and unknown, which 

♦ This is evident from Lucian*s " De De& Syri,*' c. 4. ; and see Gesenius's 
"Thesaurus" in voce " Ashtoreth." (1 Kings, xi. 5. 33. 2 Kings, xxiii. 13.) 
Quaere, whether the bull's horns placed on the head of this divinity were not 
originally the horns of the moon's crescent ? 

t B. ch. a. Plan 2. J Ent. 3. B. same Plan. § B. ch. b. same Plan. 


would preserve the history of their greatness and glory unto all 

The inscription on this great monolith appears to have been 
similar in its historical details to that on the king in the frame. 
I shall quote some specimens, translated by Dr. Hincks, to show 
the i^inuteness with which the Assyrian kings chronicled every 
event of their reign, and the consequent value of their historical 
records. It is to be remarked that, although these inscriptions 
are in the form of annals, the years are not mentioned. The 
king generally sets out on his campaigns in one particular month, 
the name of which is given; probably in the autumn, when the heats 
of summer were over. In the beginning of his reign he collected 
his army, and made his first expedition into the country of Nummi, 
or N&mi, probably Elam or Susiana, subsequently, as we shall find» 
called Numaki or Nuvaki. He took many cities, towns, and dis* 
tricts whose names have not been identified. He slew their 
women, their slaves, and their children, and carried away their 
cattle and flocks. Their Jiyhting men escaped to a hill fort (?). 
" Their houses he burned like 8tiibhle'\?). Many other countries 
to the south and south-east of Assyria, some of which are men- 
tioned on the obelisk, were conquered during this campaign. The 
city of Nishtun (?) is particularly described as one of considerable 
importance. lie seized its king or governor, whose name reads 
Babou, the son of Baboua, and imprisoned him in Babylon. " At 
that time the cities of Ncrib (their position is doubtful), their prin- 
cipal cities, he destroyed. From Xerib he departed to the city of 
Tushka .... A |)alacc for his dwelling he made there, and placed 
pillars (?)• at the gates, and put a statue of ... . (probably some 
kind of stone) .... and set up tablets, and made a place for them 

in the citadel.*' f 

lie a|)iK»ar3 subsequently to have turned his arms to the north, 
and to have received tribute from the kings of Nahiri (the country 
between the head waters of the Euphrates and Tigris) consisting of 
c/if/riW*(?), horses . . . • (probably some other animal), silver, gold, 
various objects of copjier, oxen, sheep, and asses (?) ; he then placed 
an c)fliccr of his own over the conquered people. 

• IVrbupfl in!«<TilHKl {nllars, such as Darius set up when he crossed the Bof- 
phorujt. (licHMl. iv. 87.) 

t Similar tuhleti ap{>ear to have been frc<|uently put up bj the Assjriaa 
king*, as wi» we from a bas-rrlicT at Khor>aba(l« rtprc^onting Sargon be- 
fit-tfiiii: .1 ra^tl*', on the walls of which there is a tablet of himself, or one of his 

A A 


An account follows of the building of the north-west palace 
of Nimroud, which, when deciphered, will be of considerable 
interest, and may enable us to restore that edifice. It had been 
founded by one of his forefathers, but had been deserted and 
allowed to fall into ruins. He now rebuilt it, raising pillars 
of wood(?) and of some other material, and setting up thrones, 
and three other objects always mentioned in connection with 
the thrones, but the precise nature of which has not as yet been 
determined. The inhabitants of the countries over whom he ruled 
sent things of gold, silver, copper, and iron (?), for the new palace. 
He also built two cities on the Euphrates, one on each bank (?), 
calling one after his own name, and the other after the name of 
the great god Ashur. 

Numerous expeditions to countries to the north, west, and south 
of Assyria are then related in detail. Amongst them one to 
Carchemish, where he received the tribute of Sangara, king of the 
Kiatti (the Hittites or people of Syria), including a great variety 
of gold and silver ornaments, some apparently to be recognised by 
their pure Hebrew names. As few of the cities and countries 
conquered and visited by this king have yet been identified, and a 
mere repetition of the same dry details would scarcely interest the 
reader, I will merely give literal versions, as far as they can be 
given, of the history of two of the most important campaigns. 
They will show the style of these remarkable chronicles, and the 
minuteness with which events were recorded. 

The first paragraph relates to the campaign of the king on the 
borders of the Euphrates. 

" On the 22nd day of the month .... I departed from Calah 
(the quarter of Nineveh now called Nimroud). I crossed the Tigris. 
On the banks of the Tigris I received much tribute. In the city 
of Tabit I halted. I occupied the banks of the river Karma (? the 
Hermus, or eastern confluent of the Khabour). In the city of 
Megarice I halted. From the city of Megarice I departed. I 
occupied the banks of the Elhabour (Chaboras). I halted at the 
city of Sadikanni (? or Kar-dikanni). I received the tribute of 
Sadikanni. From Sadikanni I departed. In Kedni I halted. I 
received the tribute of the city of Kedni. From Kedni I departed 
to the city of . . . lemmi. In the city of . . . lemmi I halted. 
From the city of . . . lemmi I departed. In the city of Beth- 
Khilapi I halted. The tribute of Beth-Khilapi I received, gold, 
silver," and many other articles, amongst which ar^ apparently objects 
of clothing, or embroidered stuffs. Then follow his marches day by 


daj to the cities of Sirki, Tzufri, Naqua-rabanI, and Kiodani, from 
each of which he received tribute in gold, silver, several objects not 
identified, cattle, and sheep. The inscription goes on — ** The 
city of Kindani stands on the right bank of the river Euphrates. 
From Eandani I departed : on a mountain, by the side of the Eu- 
phrates, I halted. From the mountain I departed. In Beth-She- 
baiya, over against Karid, I halted. The city of Karid stands on 
the right bank of the river Euphrates. From Bath-Shebaiya I 
departed : on the top of (or above) Anat I halted. Anat stands 
in the middle of the Euphrates " (agreeing with the position of the 
modem town of Ana). He then attacked and took the principal 
city of Shadu (?), of the country of Suka, and the city of Tzur{^)j 
the capital of Shadu (?), whose inhabitants were assisted by the 
soldiers of Bishi (a nation also alluded to in the second year of the 
annals of Sennacherib). Nebo-Baladan, king of Kar-Duniyas, is 
then mentioned, showing that the campaign was carried dotcn the 
banks of the Euphrates far to the south of Babylon. 

The second extract is from the records of a campaign in northern 
Syria. Having first crossed the Euphrates : 

" From Kunulua, the capital of Lubama, the Sharutinian *, I 
departed. The Arantu (Orontes) I crossed. On the banks of the 
Arantu I encamped. From the banks of the Arantu I departed. 
Between the countries of Saraban and Tapan (?) I occupied the 
country. By the seashore I encamped. To the city of Ariboua (?), 
a principal city of Lubama, the Sharutinian, I returned. 

(undeciphcred passage). / caused some men of 

Assyria to dwell in his palace (?). Whilst I was in Ariboua the 
cities of Lukuta I took. I slew many of their men. I overthrew 
and bumed their cities. Their fighting men (or ? the deserters 
from my araiy) I laid hold of. On stakes over against their city 
I impaled them.f At that time the countries that are upon 

* TIiLi cit^, one apparcntl j of considerable lize and importance, must have 
sUxkI ftomewhere near Antioch, or between Antioch and Aleppo. The Sharu- 
tinians niaj probably be identified with the Shairetana of the Egyptian monu- 
ment«, at one time the allies, and at another the enemies, of Eg)'pt. Few tra- 
Tellers are aware that, above the city of Antioch, carved in the rock, are 
colossal figures of an Egyptian sphinx and two priesta. I have been informed 
that there are other similar monuments in the neighbouring mountains. 

t This liarbarous practice, frequently represented in the bas-reliefs, seema, 
tb<*refore, to have prevailed from the earliest times in the East. Darius impaled 
3000 Habylonians when he took their city. (Ilenxl. iii. 159.) The last in- 
stance with which I am acquainted of this punishment having been inflicted in 

A A 2 


Lebanon I took possession of, to the great sea of the country of 
Akkari (the Mediterranean). On the great sea / put my ser- 
vants (?). Sacrifices to the gods I offered. The tribute of the 
kings of the people who dwelt near the sea, of the Tyrians, the 
Sidonians, the Kubalians, the Afahalatai (?)f the Ma . . . . ai, 
the Kha . . • . , and the Akkarians (all nations to the north of 
Tyre), and of the city of Arvad, which is in the middle of the 
sea — silver and gold pieces, rings (?) of copper, ingots (?) of 
copper, two kinds of clothing (?) (perhaps the dyed cloth of T y i c, 
or embroideries such as are frequently mentioned in the Bible), 
great *pagoutV and small * pagouiV (meaning not determined), 
some wooden objects, apparently of cedar, and pearls (?), from the 
rivers at or between the sea.* I went to the mountain of Kamana 
(the Camanus, in the north of Syria). I sacrificed to the gods. 
I made bridges (or beams), and pillars (?). From Kamana I 
brought them to Bithkara, for my own house, for the temple of 
San, for the temple of the sun. I went to the forests and cut 
them down, and made bridges (?) (or roofs or beams) of the 
wood, for Ishtar, mistress of the city of Nineveh, my protectress." -f- 
The chief events of the reign of this king are briefly alluded 
to in the standard and other inscriptions discovered in the north- 
west palace at Nimroud ; but in the records just described we have 
a minuteness of geographical detail, which enables us to trace the 
course of his expeditions with great certainty. The forms of ex- 
pression in these chronicles differ from those on later monuments. 
There even appears to be an occasional attempt at poetical illus- 
tration : for instance, instead of giving the exact amount of spoil 
taken from a conquered country, the king declares that " it ex- 
ceeded the stars of heaven ; " and when speaking of the destruc- 
tion of enemy's cities, he likens it to " the burning of stubble*' (?). 
His expeditions seem to have been attended by great cruelties 
and sacrifice of human life, and he celebrates the burning of in- 
numerable women and children. The evidence of the populous 
state of Mesopotamia at that period quite corresponds with the 

Turkey, was at Baghdad, where, about ten years ago, Nejib Pasha impaled four 
rebel Arab Sheikhs, one at each corner of the bridge. They survived for many 
hours. It is said that, unless they drink water, when they instantly die, per- 
sons so treated will live even for two or three days. 

* Might this word, translated conjecturally pearls, mean the shell fish from 
which the Tyrian dye was extracted ? 

X The whole of the last passage is very obscure ; the translation is partly con- 


Toat Dumber of artificial mounds, the ruins of ancient settle- 
meots, still existing in tbat country, and described in the foregoing 

Opening into the recess paved witb this great monolith was 
a small room, or rather closet, 13 feet by 3, which may have 
been used to keep the sacrificial utensils and the garments of the 

The entrance formed by the good spirit driving out tbe evil 
principle led into a chamber • connected by separate doorways with 
the two rooms last described. The walls were simply plastered, 
and there were no remains found in it but tbe fragments of an 
inscribed slab. 

Standing one day on a distant part of the mound, I smelt the 
sweet smell of burning cedar. The Arab workmen, excavating 
in the small temple, had dug out a beam, and, the weather being 
cold, had at once niiidc a fire to warm themselves. The wood was 
cedar ; probably one of the very beams mentioned tn the inscri[i- 
tion as brought from the forests of Lebanon by the king wbo 
built the edifice. After a lajrae of nearly three thousand years, 
it had retained itj original fragrance. JIany other such beams 
were discovered*, and the grc.itcr part of the rnbbish in which 
ihe ruin was buried, con^iistcd of charcoal of the same wood. 
It is likely that the whole superstructure, as well as the roof and 
floor of the building, like those of the temple and palace of Solo- 
mon, were of this precious uiatcriul. 

In tlie:^: ruins was also found a mass of lead melted by the fire, 
for embedded in it was the iron head of a hatchet. Amongst the 
various small objects collected were. 

Figures of winged deities, &c., of chiy, colored in the mass with 
a blue derived from copper; eyes, beards, hair, and ornaments in 




enamel, probably belonging to figures of wood, metal, or ivory, 
resembling the cryselaphantine statues of the Greeks ; eyca of black 
marble inlaid with ivory, with the eye-balls of a bright blue enamel, 
belonging to similar statues ; and arms, legs, and other parts of 
figures in charred wood. A box of chalcedony probably used for 

some precious ointment Another box of the same shape in por- 
oelain (?) has holes round the rim, and was originally inlaid with 
gold, traces of which still remun. 

Fragments of porcelain (?), parte of a cup or vase, with carvings 
in low relief, representing a caetle with women on the walls, 
the hind legs of a camel, and a captive carrying a cauldron. An 
inscription appears to have described 
the event represented, and to have 
contained the name of a king. Only 
a few characters remain. 

Several inscribed fragments of 
agate, lapia-lazuli, cornelian, and 
Other precious materials, beads, cy- 
linders, and one or two clay tablets 
with inscriptions and impressions of 
seals, complete the list of small ob- 
jects discovered in this temple. 

The inscriptions across the sculp- 
tured slabs are nearly the same as the 
FTHTotDi m porceiimiT (Nimnud), Standard inscription in the north- 
west palace; those at the back also contain the name of the 
founder of that edifice, who, it thus appears, was likewise the 
builder of the temple. 

About one hundred feet to the east of the building last described, 
and on the very edge of the artificial platform, I discovered a 


second temple. Its principal entrance^ faced the souths and was 
on the same level as the north-west palace. This gateway was 
formed by two colossal lions with extended jaws, gathered up lips 
and nostrils, flowing manes, and ruffs of bristly hair. The heads, 
though to a certain extent conventional in form, were designed 
with that vigor so remarkably displayed by the Assyrian sculptor 
in the delineation of animals. The limbs conveyed the idea of 
strength and power, the veins and muscles were accurately por- 
trayed, and the outline of the body was not deficient in grace and 
truth. But the front of the animal, which was in full, was narrow 
and cramped, and unequal in dignity to the side. In the general 
treatment the whole sculpture had much of that peculiar feeling 
and character that mark the archaic monuments of Greece, and it 
was on this account peculiarly interesting. In it, indeed, we may 
perhaps trace those conventional forms from which the Greek 
artist first derived his ideal Lion.* The sculptor has given five 
legs to the animal for the same reason that he gave them to the 
sphinxes, that they might offer a complete front and side view. 

This gateway, about eight feet wide, was paved with one in- 
scribed slab. The height of the lions was about eight feet, and their 
length thirteen. An inscription was carved across them. In 
front of them, in the corners formed by walls projecting at right 
angles with the entrance, were two altars, hollow at the top, and 
ornamented with gradines resembling the battlements of a castlcf 
The exterior walls appeared to have been adorned with enamelled 
bricks, many of which still remained. 

Unfortunately, one of these lions had been too much injured by 
fire to l>ear removal. The other, although cracked in sevend places 
when discovered, and consequently moved in pieces, has been 
preserved, and is now in the British MuseunL 

The Lion portal led into a chamber 57 feet by 254 -^^ o^^ 
end was a recess similar to that in the opposite temple, and also 
paved with one great alalxuiter slab, inscribed on both sides. This 
monolith, 19^ ft. by 12 ft., was likewise broken into several pieces, 
and had been injured in parts by fire. 

The inscription on the upper side, divided into two columns, 
and containing 230 lines, was nearly the same as that on the king 
in the frame and on the monolith in the otlier temple. It 

• Hate 2^ 2nd series of Monuments of Nineveh. 

t An altar nearly similar in shape b seen on the top of a hill, in a bif-reiief 
at Khorsabad, Botta, pUtc 16. 
I C. Plan IL 

A4 4 

ti— +_^4^, 

Cbap. XVL] 



WAS also a record of the wars and compaigna of the early Nimroud 
king, and was important as enabling us to restore such parts of 
the other inscriptions as are wanting, and as fumisliing various 
readings of the same text The inscription on the under part was 
a mere ahridgment of the other. 

Nearly in the centre of the principal 
chamher were two small slabs joined to- 
gether. On each was the same inscrip- 
tion, merely containing passages from 
the standard Inscription. 

The other rooms in the same huild- 
ing contained no inscriptions, sculptures, 
or other ohjects of interest. The walls 
had heen plastered and painted. 

In the earth above the great in- 
Bcrihcd slab, w&s found an interesting 
figure, 3 feet 4 inches high, and cut in a 
hard, compact limestone. It appeared 
to represent the king himself atlircd aa 
high priest in his sacrificial robes. In 
fais right hand he held an instrumeot 
resembling a sickle, and in his left the 
sacred mace. Kuund Ins waist was the 
knotted girdle ; and liia left arm, like 
that of the king in the opposite temple, 
was partly concealed by an outer robe. 
His gnrments descended to his feet, the 
. ^^^ toes alone projecting from them. The 

f ^^k heard and hair were elaborately curled, 

[ ^H The features were majestic, and the ge- 

ncml pro[iortions of the statue nut alto* 
t gcther incorrect, with the exception of 
a want of breadth in the side view pecu- 
llnr to Assyrian works of art of this 
■ V. ri;..; 1. ■.,!.».,..<. o.. oj, nature. It was, however, chiefly re- 
markable as being the only entire tutatuo 
" in the round" of this period, hitherto discovered in the ruins of 

On the breast is an inscription nearly in these words : — After the 
name and titles of the king, " The conqueror from the upper 
IHiMagc of the Tigris to Lebanon and the Great Sea, who all 
countries, from the rising of tlie sun to the going down thereof 


ICh±f. xvr. 

has reduced under his authority." The statue was, therefore, pro- 
bably nuBed after his return from the campaign in Syria described, 
as we have seen, on the monoliths, and alluded to in the standard 

This statue originally stood on a pedestal of reddish lime- 
stone, which, with the figure itself, was found broken into several 
pieces. They have been restored, and are now in the British 

Amongstthesmaller objects discovered whilst 
removing the earth from the chambers in this 
I edi6ce were several rudely carved heads in 
alabaster, wluch may have been parts of a 
throne or altar, or of some architectural or- 
nament; fragments of enamel belonging to 
wooden or ivory figures ; and the head of a 
griffin or mythic animal in ivory, most pro- 
bably belonging to a wooden figure, or to the 
top of a staff, as there are holes for the nails 
' by which it was fastened. 

The two interesting buildings just described, 
the only undoubted remiuns of temples hitherto found at Nim- 
roud, complete the discoveries at the northern extremity of the 
mound. They enable us, as will hereafter be seen, to restore 
part of the group of edifices raised on the grand pliitform in this 
quarter of Kineveh. 

' Plate S2. of iad aeries of the MonumeDU of NineTcb. 


TnK difficulties and delay in crossing the Tigris, now swollen by 
the melting of the mountain snows, induced me to pitch my tents 
on the mound of Kouyunjik, and to reside there with all my party, 
instead of daily pastiing to and fro in the rude ferry-boats to the 
ruini'. The small Kuropean community at KIosul was increased 
in June by the arrival of a large [larty of travellers. Two Knglish 
gentlemen and their wives who passed through on their way to 
Itnghdad: the Hon. Mr. W'alpole, who has since published an itc- 
coiint of hiu adventures in the East ; the Kev. Mr. Malan, to whom 
I am indebted for many beautiful sketches, and of whose kindness 
in affording mc these valuable Ulostrations I again seize the 


opportunity of making a grateful acknowledgment ; the Rev. Mr. 
Bo wen, an English clergyman, on a tour of inspection to the Eastern 
churches, with whom I spent many agreeable and profitable hours 
amongst the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, and his companion, Mr. 
Sandresky, were our visitors, and were most of them my guests. 

Our tents were pitched at the northern corner of Kouyunjik, 
near some earthen banks and embrasures, which tradition points out 
as the batteries of Nadir Shah, when he directed his guns against 
the town of Mosul. The spring was now fast passing away ; 
the heat became daily greater ; the corn was cut, and the plains 
and hills put on their summer clothing of dull parched yellow. 
•* The pasture is withered, the tender herb faileth, the green herb 
is no more." * It was the season, too, of the sherghis, or burning 
winds from the south, which occasionally swept over the face of 
the country, driving, in their short-lived fury, everything before 
them. Their coming was foretold by a sudden fall in the baro- 
meter; which rose again as soon as they had passed. It required 
the united exertions of my workmen to hold the flapping canvas of 
the large tent, whilst the smaller were generally carried far away, 
and their contents burled in every direction over the mound or 
the plain. t 

At Nimroud the excavations had been almost stopped : at 
Kouyunjik they were still carried on as actively as my means 
would permit. I was now occupied in moving and packing 
sculptures from both ruins. From Nimroud the beautiful bas- 
relief of the king in the arched frame, described in the pre- 
vious chapter, the good spirit driving out the evil principle, 
the fish-god, the colossal lion from the small temple, and several 
other interesting sculptures, were taken to the river-bank, and 
sent on rafts to Busrah. At Kouyunjik none of the slabs could 
be removed entire. I could only pack in fragments several of the 
bas-reliefs representing the moving of the great bulls, six of the 
led horses, the figures bearing locusts and game for the banquet, 
from the descending passage, and one or two battle-scenes de- 
scribed in the previous pages. The cases were dragged in carts to 
the Tigris, unloaded below the piers of the ancient bridge, and 
there placed on rafts prepared to receive them. 

During the day, when not otherwise occupied, I made drawings 

• Isaiah, xv, 6. Translation by the Rev. John Jones. 

f Isaiah describes these whirlwinds, xxi. 1. (same version), '* Like the 
southern tempesti} violently rushing along from the Desert, he cometh from a 
terrible land.** 


of the bas-reliefs discovered in the subterranean passages. My 
guests, choosing some convenient place underground near the par- 
ties who were at work, spread their carpets beneath the crumbling 
sculptures. We all went below soon after the sun had risen, and 
remained there, without again seeking the open air, until it was far 
down in the western horizon. The temperature in the dark tunnels 
was cool and agreeable, nearly twenty degrees of Fahrenheit lower 
than that in the shade above; but I found it unwholesome, the 
sudden change in going in and out causing intermittent fever. 

After the sun had set we dined outside the tents, and afterwards 
reclined on our carpets to enjoy the cool balmy air of an Eastern 
night. The broad silver river wound through the plain, the great 
ruin cast its dark shadows in the moonlight, the lights of "the 
lodges in the gardens of cucumbers"* flickered at our feet, and 
the deep silence was only broken by the sharp report of a rifle 
fired by the watchful guards to frighten away the wild boars 
that lurked in the melon beds. We slept under the open sky, 
making our beds in the field. Around us were the tents of the 
Jcbour workmen ; their chiefs and the overseers generally ga- 
thered round us to talk over the topics of the day until the night 
was far spent. 

July had set in, and we were now in " the eye of the summer.** 
My comi)ani()n3 had been unable to resist its heat. One by one 
we dr()i)pcd off* with fever. The Doctor, after long suffering, had 
gone with Mr. Walpole to the cooler regions of the Kurdish hills, 
there to wait until the state of the excavations might enable me to 
join them. Mr. Coojh.t, too, had so much declined in health that 
I Fciit him to the convent of Mar Metti, on the summit of the 
(lehel Makloub. Mr. llormuzd Kassam and myself struggled on 
the longest, but at length we also gave way. Fortunately our ague 
attacks did not coincide. We were prostrate alternate days, and 
were, therefore, alile to take charge alternately of the works. By 
the 1 1th of July I had sent to Busrah the first collection of sculp- 
tures from Kouyunjik, and on that day, in the middle of the hot stage 
of fever, and half delirious, I left Mosul for the mountains. There 
Wire »till parts of centnd Kurdistan unvisited by the European 
traveller. The districts belonging to the Zibari Kurds, between 
B;ihwanduz and the Nestorian valleys, had but recently made a 

• Inaiali, i. 8. These tcmportry hutJ are nii»c<l in the ganlons and pUntationi 
of iij.l..nj«, rurumU'n*, an«l other fniit, \>y the men who watch day and night to 
protect them against thieves and wild animala. 


tardy and partial eubmiaaion to the Porte, andi ilill moecupM Iqr 
Turkish garnBons or troopa, admowledged only thrfrewalwiililaij 
chiefs. The tribes inhabiting them are venowned Ibr ihw lawfai^ 
ness, and commerce had not yet penetrated into ihw ihwmkiliTi 

I determined, therefore, first to "nat these diatriote on waj waj 
to Wan, to devote some days to the examination of tha nana and 
cuneiform inscriptions in and near that city, and then to fetam to 
Mosul through the unexplored uplands to the iooth of the hke of 
Wan, and by such of the Nestorian valleys as I had not aeon dmEu^ 
my former journey in the mountains. I should then spend the 
hottest part of the summer in the oool regions of Kuidistant and 
be agidn at Nineveh by September, when the heata b^gm to 

Few European travellers can brave the perpenffioolar laya of 
an Assyrian sun. Even the well-seasoned Arab seeks the sliada 
during the day, and journeys by night, unless driven fSordi et 
noontide into the plain by necessity, or the love of war. As we 
had no motive for neglecting the usual precautions^ we etnek 
our tents late in the ahemoon, and got upon our horaea aft ilia 
foot of the mound of Kouyunjik as the sun went down. With 
me were Hormuzd, my old servants, and the faithiiil Bairakdar. 
Mr. Cooper was to join us on the following day, and we were to 
seek the Doctor and Mr. Walpole at Akra. 

Five hours' ride over the plain brought us to the small Turcoman 
village of Bir Hillan (the well of stone), which stands on the 
south-eastern spur of the Makloub hills. After two hours' rest 
we continued our journey, and crossed this spur before morning 
dawned. The Gebel Makloub is here divided into two distinct 
ranges by a deep valley. The southern ridge, rocky and furrowed 
like the northern, is called the Gebel Ain-es-sufra (the hill of the 
yellow spring), from a discolored fountain in one of its ravines, a 
place of pilgrimage of the Yezidis. One of the annual festivals of 
this sect falling on the day of our journey, we saw many families 
wending their way to the holy place. The villages, which formerly 
stood on the hill side, have been long since deserted. 

Leaving the Gebel Makloub, we descended into a broad plain, 
stretching from it to the first Kurdish range, and soon found 
ourselves on the banks of the Ghazir, here a clear sparkling stream 
clothed with tall oleanders, now bending under their rosy blossoms. 
We sought the shade of some spreading walnut-trees, during 
the heat of the day, near the small Kurdish village of Kaimawa. 

Here Mr. Cooper joined us, and we were again on our way in 

Chap. XVIL] BEACH AKRA. 367 

the afternoon. Instead of etriking for the mountains by the direct 
path across the plain of Navkur^ we rode along the foot of a range 
of low hills^ forming its western boundary^ to the large Kurdish 
village of Bardaresh. Having rested for a few hours^ we descended 
in the middle of the night into a plain receiving the drainage of 
the surrounding highlands^ and during the rainy season almost im- 
passable from mud. In the summer the broad fissures and deep 
crevices, formed by the heat of the sun, render it scarcely less 
difficult to beasts of burden. Scattered over it are many flourishing 
villages, inhabited almost entirely by Kurds, who cultivate the 
rich and fruitful eoiL Winding streams irri^^ate fields of cotton^ 
tobacco, and rice, and turn numerous corn-mills. Artificial mounds^ 
the remains of ancient civilisation, but of small size when com- 
pared with the great ruins of Assyria, rise amongst the hovels 
of the Kurdish peasants. I passed several that bore marks of 
having been tapped by my industrious agents, but none appeared 
to contain ruins. They had not been suflScieutly examined to show 
for what purpose they had been raised. 

After wc had crossed the parched and burning plain we entered 
a valley in the Kurdish hills, watered by a stream called Melik 
or Gherasin. We had to climb over much broken ground — 
rocky ridge and ravine — before reaching the slope of the moun- 
tain covered with the gardens and orchards of Akra. We tar- 
ried for a moment at a cool spring rising in a natural grottOi 
and collected into two large basins. As such places usually are, 
it was, if not a sacred, a genial spot to the Mussulmans, and 
they had chosen a small open terrace near for a burial grou^id. 
Saints abound amongst the Kurds, as amongst all ignorant people^ 
and there are few grave-yards without a large supply of their 
tombs : that near the fountain of Akra appeared to be particularly 
favored, and the place of mourning was made gay by the many- 
colored shreds and remnants of old garments, which fluttered like 
streamers from the tall head-stones.^ 

We had no difficulty in finding our European fellow-travellers. 
The first Kurd we met pointed towards a well-wooded garden ; 
above its trees peered their white tents. As we rode into it, 
however, no one came out to welcome us. I entered the first tent, 
and there, stretched on their carpets, in a state of half-conscious- 

* The custom of placing ex'voto offeiingt on or nemr tlie tomb of a hoi j per- 
son — gcnerall J pieces torn from the gmrmenU — preTailf throughout the East. 
Fre<iuentljr the branches of a neighbouring tree, and the iron grating of the 
windows of the resting-place of a saint, are completely coTered with such relics. 


ness, the prey to countless flies, lay the Doctor and Mr. Walpole. 
It was with difficulty I could rouse them to learn the history of 
their fever. The whole party were in the same state ; the servants 
prostrate like their masters. I lost no time in enforcing a 
system of diet, and placing my patients under a course of treat- 
ment for ague, with which long experience had given me some 

In the same garden was encamped the Mutesellim, or Turkish 
governor, of Akra. As it was the month of Ramazan, when 
good Mussulmans eschew all food from dawn to sunset, he 
passed the day in sleep, to awake as the sun went down and the 
hour of feasting drew near. It was evening, consequently, 
before I visited him. He sat under a large open shed built 
with green boughs. It was well furnished with soft divans, and 
stood on the very brink of a large hoshy or reservoir, of clear 
water, which reflected the flickering light of numerous colored 
lamps hung from the branches of the surrounding trees. Although 
Akra stands on the mountain-side, it is still within the region 
of the great heats, and the inhabitants pass the summer-nights 
beneath the sky. During this season they leave their dwellings, 
and encamp in the gardens. The town contains nearly six hun- 
dred families, and the whole district about three hundred villages 
and hamlets, furnishing a considerable part of the revenues of the 
pashalic of Mosul. 

Some days elapsed before my companions were able to journey. 
I took advantage of the delay to visit some bas-reliefs near the 
neighbouring village of Gunduk. We passed on the road several 
hamlets, inhabited partly by Kurds and partly by Catholic Chal- 
dseans, recently converted from the Nestorian Church.* In Gun- 
duk there are still about twenty families who have remained in 
the Nestorian faith, and a few Jews. The village is pleasantly 
built on the slope of a hill, overhanging a deep valley filled with 
shady gardens. 

There are two sculptured tablets in the rocks above Gunduk. 
They have been carved at the mouth of a spacious natural cavern, 
whose roof is fretted with stalactites, and down whose sides 
trickles cool clear water, and hang dank ferns and creeping plants. 
It is called Guppa d'Mar Yohanna, or the cure of St. John, and near 
it is an ancient Nestorian church dedicated to Saint Audishio. The 
bas-reliefs are Assyrian. The upper represents a man slaying a 

* These villages were Khurfa, Ras-al-ain, Khardiz, and Shiekhi, or Sheikh 




wild goat with a spear. In the lower, as far aa I could distlDguish 
the sculpture, which iu high on the rock and much injured, are two 
women faciog each otiier, and seated on stools. Kach holds a child 
above a kind of basin or circular vessel, as if in the act of baptizing 
it. Behind the seated female to the left, a figure bears a third 
child, and is followed hj a. woman. On the opposite side is a group 
of three persons, apparently sacrificing nn animaL There are no 
traces of inscriptions on or near the tablets. 

Whiliit I was cxariiiiiin;; llicso sculptures, the Nc8torian Kiayah 
raiiic to me. He wns a Bhamaoha ur deacon, a vcncmblc old man 
with a white bcurd fulling on his breast. The up[>cr sculpture, 
hu i^id, rcpreitfnied Saint John with bis horse ; hence the name of 
the oavvrn; the Inwer was some church ceremony which he could 
not exai-'tly explain. Ucluniing with him to bis dwelling, whcro 
be had prciiared a plentiful breakfast, wc passed the heat uf the 
day under a shady porch overlooking the plain. 


There are several Nestorian ChaldsBan villages at the foot of 
these hills. Three miles to the north of Gunduk is Shoush, and 
beyond it Shermen, frequently the residence of Mar Shamoun, 
the Nestorian patriarch. At a short distance from Shermen 
farther northwards, is the gorge of Bavian, with its remarkable 

On the 17 th July my companions were able to move to the 
higher mountains. We all longed for a cooler climate, and we 
rejoiced as at sunrise we left our garden. The town, through which 
we passed, contains a few well built stone houses, rising one above 
the other, a mosque, a bath, and a ruined castle ; and was 
formerly the stronghold of an independent chief, who enjoyed the 
title of pasha, and boasted, like his relation of Amadiyah, a descent 
from the Abasside caliphs. The last, Mohammed Seyyid, has long 
been a kind of prisoner at Mosul. 

A precipitous and difficult path leads up the mountain. From 
the summit of the j)a8s, the eye wanders over the plains of Navkur 
and Sheikhan, the broken hill country around Arbil, and the wind- 
ings of the Zab and the Ghazir. On the opposite side is a deep 
valley dividing the Akra hills from a second and loftier range. 
We now entered the region of dwarf oaks, and stopped, after a 
short day's journey, at the Kurdish hamlet of Hashtgah, sur- 
rounded by gigantic trees and watered by numerous streams. It 
is in the Kurdish district of Zibari, still governed by one of 
the few remaining hereditary chiefs. 

Through the valley ran a broad clear stream, one of the 
confluents of the Zab, called by the Kurds Durusho or Bairaisho.* 
We rode along its banks for nearly an hour, and then struck 
into a narrow gorge thickly wooded with oak. Another stony 
and precipitous pass was between us and the principal district of 
Zibari. From its summit the main stream of the Zab is seen 
winding through a rich valley, beyond which rise the more central 
and loftier mountains of Kurdistan, with their snow-bearing peaks. 
Descending into the low country we rode by the village of 
Birikapra, the residence of Mustafa Agha, the former head of the 
Zibari tribes. The present chief, Namet Agha, dwells at Heren, 

* For this valley I received three different names, Hassanawa, Hassan-mainia, 
and Nahala, the latter from the Zibari chief. The difficulty of getting a correct 
name either of a place or a person from a Kurd is very great, and travellers in 
Kurdistan can scarcely avoid falling into frequent errors in this respect. The 
same name is pronounced in a variety of ways, and is subject to all manner of 
additions and contractions. If it have any meaning, the difficulty is, of course, 

Chap. XVII.] NAMET AGUA. 371 

about two miles beyond. He had lately been at Mosul to receive 
from the Pasha his cloak of investiture^ and during his visit had 
been my guest His abilities and acquirements were above the 
ordinary Kurdish standard, which indeed is low enough ; for, as the 
Arab proverb declares, " Be the Kurd a Kurd or a prophet, he 
will still be a bear." He spoke Persian with fluency, and was 
not Ignorant of Arabic As he was well acquainted with the 
geography of Kurdistan, I learnt from him many interesting parti- 
culars relating to the less-known districts of the mountains. 

The Kurds belong to a sect of Mussulmans notoriously strict in 
the observance of their religious duties. The Agha had feasted 
all night, and was now sleeping through his daily fast. He was 
stretched on a rich carpet beneath a cluster of trees, and near a 
reservoir of water, outside the walls of his small mud castle. A 
thin white cloak, embroidered with silk and golden threads, was 
thrown over him, and whilst one attendant fanned his head, a 
second gently kneaded his naked feet. I begged that he should 
not be disturbed, and we proceeded to settle ourselves for the 
day under the trees. 

The unusual stir, however, soon awoke the chief. He welcomed 
me with friendly warmth ; and, although forbidden to eat himself, 
he did not leave his guests uncarcd for. The breakfast brought 
to us from his harem comprised a variety of sweetmeats and 
savoury dishes, which did credit to the skill of the Kurdish ladies. 

I was the bearer of a letter to him from the Pasha: no accept- 
able cominunioation, however, as it treated of new taxes, a subject 
very generally disagreeable, uj>on tobacco, cotton, and fruit, which 
the Zibari Kurds were now for the first time called upon to pay. 
The salian, too, a kind of pn)|)erty tax, was raised from twenty-five 
to sixty thousand piastres (about 5501,), The late successful ex- 
IKMlitions against the chiefs of Uohtan and Hakkiari had encouraged 
the Porte to ask money of the previously inde|>endent tribes under 
Namct Agha ; and although no Turkish troops had yet entered 
their mountains, the Kurds deemed it advisable to comply for the 
present with the demand rather than run the risk of an invasion, 
and a still mure dreaded evil, the conscription. 

There are about fifty Catholic Chahhcan families, recent con- 
verts from Nestorianism, in Ileren. They have a church, and 
had no cause to complain of their Kurdish masters, especially 
during the government of the present chief. 

Namet Agha's authority extended over Zibari, Shirwan, Gherdi, 
Baradoet, and Shcmdcena, from Akra to the Persian frontier. 

• •2 


These districts are occupied by different Kurdish tribes, each 
having its own chief; but they had then submitted to the Agha 
of Zibari, and paid their tribute through him to the governor 
of Mosul. Namet placed me under the protection of his cousin. 
Mullah Agha, who was ordered to escort us to the borders of 
the pashalic of Hakkiari, now occupied by the Turkish troops. 
Our guide was a tall sinewy mountaineer, dressed in the many- 
colored loose garments, and huge red and black turban folded 
round the high conical felt cap, which gives a peculiar and 
ungainly appearance to the inhabitants of central Kurdistan. He 
was accompanied by three attendants, and all were on foot, the 
precipitous and rocky pathways of the mountains being scarcely 
practicable for horses, which are rarely kept but by the chiefs. 
They carried their long rifles across their shoulders, and enormous 
daggers in their girdles. 

We left Heren early on the morning of the 19th, and soon 
reaching the Zab rode for two hours along its banks, to a spot 
where a small raft had been made ready for us to cross the stream. 
Many villages were scattered through the valley on both sides of 
the river, and the soil is not ill cultivated. 

The Zab is not fordable in this part of its course. Numerous 
eddies and rapids, caused by sunken rock, render it unnavigable 
even by rafts, except during the floods of spring. We had some 
diflSculty in crossing, and were compelled to pass the night in 
the small village of Rizan, near the ferry, as one of the baggage- 
mules refused to swim the stream, and was not forced over until 
near dawn on the following morning. 

We now entered the tract which has probably been followed 
for ages by the mountain clans in their periodical migrations. Be- 
sides the sedentary population of these districts, there are certain no- 
made Kurdish tribes called Kochers, who subsist entirely by their 
flocks. As they do not engage in agriculture, but rely upon the 
rich pastures of Assyria, they change their encamping grounds 
according to the season of the year, gradually ascending from 
the plains watered by the Tigris and Zab towards the highest 
peaks in summer, and returning to the low country as the winter 
draws nigh. The principal Kocher tribes, found in this part of 
Kurdistan, are the Herki, whose encampments we had seen during 
our visit to the Tai in the early spring.* They are notorious 
petty thieves and robbers, and during their annual migrations 

* See chap. X. 


commit Berious depredations upon the settled inhabitants of the 
district on their way^ and more especially upon the Christians. 
As they possess vast flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, their track 
has in most places the appearance of a beaten road, and is^ con- 
sequently, well-fitted for beasts of burden. 

The country beyond, or to the east of, the Zab is broken into 
a number of parallel ranges of wooded hills, divided by narrow 
ravines. Small villages are scattered here and there on the moun- 
tain sides, in the midst of terraces cultivated with wheat and 
planted with fruit trees. The scenery occasionally assumes a 
character of beauty and grandeur, as the deep green valleys open 
beneath the traveller's feet, and the lofty snow-capped peaks of 
Kahwanduz rise majestically in the clear blue sky. The nights 
were still sufficiently warm for us to sleep in the open air. During 
the middle of the day the heat of the sun compelled us to seek for 
shade. Our first rest, after leaving the Zab, was in the gardens of 
Kouran, and our first night's encampment near the small hamlet 
of Bani, on the declivity of a mountain. 

On the 21st July, crossing a high ridge, we left the district of 
Zibari, and entered that of Shirwan, whose chief, Miran Bey> 
came out to meet us at the head of his armed retainers. He led 
us to the large village of Bersiyah, situated beneath a bold and 
lofty peak called Piran. A feast had been prejiared for us, and 
we rested under a walnut-tree. Through the valley beneath 
run a considerable confluent of the Zab*, dividing the districts 
of Shirwan and Ghcrdi. During the afternoon, we rode for 
three hours along this stream, through ojH^n valleys and narrow 
gorges, until we reached Ilarouni, in the district of Baradost. 
Mo:«t of the villages in these mountains have small mud forts, 
with cither four or six towers, — the places of refuge and de- 
fence of the numerous |)etty chiefs during their frequent broils 
and blcHxI-fcud:*. We met a few Jewish families who wander 
from village to village. The men are pedlars and goldsmiths, 
and arc not unwelcome guests, even in the intolerant families of 
the Kurdn, as they make and refashion the ornaments of the 

On one of the many peaks towering above Ilarouni, is tho 
large village of Khan-i-resh, with its orchards and gardens, the 

* Three nametf were given me for thin stream : At Sherah, Rudbar Kcklik, 
and BcraAghirU. 

D D 3 


residence of the chief of the district of Boradost. We reached it 
by a very rapid ascent in an hour and a half.* 

We were received by the Mir, FczuUah Bey, in a spacious cham- 
ber, supported by wooden pillars, and completely open on the side 
facing the valley, over which it commanded an extensive and 
beautiful prospect. Tlie turban of the chief, a Cashmere shawl 
striped red and white, vied in size with the largest headgear we 
had seen in Kurdistan. His robes were of silk richly embroidered, 
and his dark eyes were rendered more lustrous by a profuse be- 
smearing of hohl over the eyelids. He was surrounded by a 
crowd of well-armed and well-dressed attendants, and received 
us as if he had been the petty sovereign of the hills. Although 
he had condescended for the last two years to contribute some 
eight purses (35/.) towards the Turkish revenues, he still boasted 
an entire independence, and submitted with evident ill-will to 
the control of the Agha of Zibari, under whom his tribes had 
been placed by the Pasha of Mosul.f He received Mullah Agha, 
however, with civility, and read the letters of introduction from 
Namet Agha, of which I was the bearer. Like most of the 
mountain chiefs, he spoke Persian, the language used in Kurdistan 
for all written communications, and in books, except the Koran 
and a few pious works, which are in Arabic. The Kurdish 
dialects are mere corruptions of the Persian, and are not, with rare 
exceptions, employed in writing. 

The Mir pressed me to pass the night with him as his guest ; 
but after partaking of his breakfast, I continued my journey, and 
reached, by sunset, the small turreted stronghold of Beygishni. 

The next morning we crossed one of the shoulders of the lofty 
peak of Ser-i-Resh, into the valley of Chappata.J We were met 
on the way by a party of Nestorians, who had come out to see me, 
headed by the brother of the Bishop of Gherdi. He urged me 
to turn aside to the Christian villages, of which there are several 
in the valley ; but as it was necessary to visit the Mir of Gherdi, 
through whose territories we were now travelling, and whose pro- 
tection we consequently required, I declined his invitation. He 
walked by me as far as Zernin, the castle of the Kurdish chiefj 
and then left a relation to guide us to the dwelling of the Bishop 
of Shemesdin or Shemdeena. As usual, he complained of bittei 

* Khan-i-resh is, by observation, 4372 feet above the level of the sea. 

t It was this chief, or one of his dependants, I believe, who plundered and 
was about to murder two American missionaries, who attempted to cross the 
mountains the year after my visit. 

{ Or Chapnaia, in Chaldsean. 


oppression and injustice from the Kurdish Mirs, who had lately 
driven a large part of the Christian population across the frontiers 
into Persia. 

The Mir of Gherdi was away from his castle ; and, after having 
rested there and eaten bread, we left the bold upland upon which 
the village stands, and entered a wild and narrow gorge. A very 
steep pathway led us to the summit of the northern shoulder of 
the Ser-i-Resh, from whence we gazed over a sea of mountain 
ranges, whose higher peaks were white with eternal snow. As 
we wound down a rugged track on the opposite side of the pass, 
we came upon a party of gaily dressed Kurds, crouching in a circle 
round a bubbling spring. They were lahya Bey, the Mir, and his 
people, who had come from Rua to meet me. The chief, after the 
usual exchange of civilities, in:«i8tcd upon returning to that vil« 
lage with us, and mounted his fine white mnre, whose tail was 
dyed bright red with henna to match his own capacious scarlet 
trowscrs. I could scarcely refuse his offer of hospitality, although 
our day's journey was thereby much shortened, and we rode to- 
gether down the mountain until, turning into a valley, we found 
the chiefs carpets spread beneath the trees, with tiie repast that 
he had prepared for us. 

We had now left the naked hills which skirt the Assyrian 
plains, and had entered the wooded districts of Kurdistan. On 
tlie following day we journeyed through a valley thick with 
walnuts and other large tree^, and followed the windings of a 
Htreani, called by the Kurds Sliamlx), one of the principal con- 
fluents of the Zab. We crossed it, backwards and forwards, by 
wicker suspension bridj^es, until we ascended, through a forest 
of orchards watered by iiuiumerable streamlets^ to Nera, the vil- 
lage of Moui«a Bey, the ciiief of Shemdina. 

The solitude of the place was only broken by a few boys who 
were bathing in a brawling stream. The chief himself and the 
inhabitants were still slumbering after their night's observance 
of the Kamaziin. We pitched our tents near some springs on an 
o|>en lawn, and waited the return of an aged servant .who had 
been di:«turbed by the noise of our caravan, and had under- 
taken to announce our arrival to his master. 

We ha^l evidently to deal with a man of civilisation and luxury, 
for the old Kurd shortly returned folio we<l by numerous attend- 
ants, bearing sherbets and various Pen^ian delicacies, in china 
bowls. Mousa Bey himself came to us in the afternoon, and hia 

manners and conversation confirmed the impression that 

• • 4 


breakfast had produced. Intercourse with Persia, beyond whose 
frontiers his own tribe sometimes wandered, had taught him 
the manners and language of his neighbours. He was some- 
what proud of his acquirements; and when he found that he 
could exhibit them before the crowd of armed followers that re- 
spectfully surrounded him, by talking to me in a learned tongue, a 
bond of friendship was immediately established between us. He 
told me that he was descended from one of the most ancient of 
Kurdish families, whose records for many hundred years still exist ; 
and he boasted that Sheikh Tahar, the great saint, had deemed 
him the only chief worthy, from his independence of the infidel 
government of the Sultan, to receive so holy a personage as him- 
self after the downfall of Beder Khan Bey. This Sheikh Tahar, who 
as the main instigator of many atrocious massacres of the Chris- 
tians, and especially of the Nestorians, ought to have been pursued 
into the uttermost parts of the mountains by the Turkish troops, 
and hanged as a public example, was now suffering from fever. 
He sent to me for medicine ; but as his sanctity would not permit 
him to see, face to face, an unbelieving Frank, and as he wished 
to have a remedy without going through the usual form of an in- 
terview with the Doctor, I declined giving him any help in the 

Mousa Bey was at this time almost the only chief in Kur- 
distan who had not yet made a formal submission to the Turkish 
government. His territories were, therefore, a place of refuge 
for those fugitives who, less fortunate than himself, had been 
driven from their strongholds by the arms or intrigues of the 
Porte. He bewailed the discords wliich severed the tribes, and 
made them an easy prey to the Osmanli. It is, indeed, fortunate 
for the Sultan that this warlike population, extending from the 
Black Sea to the neighbourhood of Baghdad, has never obeyed 
one head, but has been split into a thousand clans, ever engaged 
in their petty blood-feuds, and opening, for the sake of private re- 
venge, their almost inaccessible valleys and mountains to the com- 
mon enemy. Tlie Turks, wise in their generation, have pursued 
their usuad policy successfully in Kurdistan; the dissensions of 
the chiefs have been fomented, and, thus divided, they have fallen 
one by one victims to treachery or to force. 

In Nera are many Jewish families, who make a livelihood by 
weaving the colored woollen stuffs worn by the Kurds. The 
Bishop of Shemisden (or Sliemdeena), hearing of my arrival, sent 
one of his brothers to meet me. He came to us in the evening. 


and inveighed against the fanaticism and tyranny of the Bey, who, 
he declared, had driven nmny Cliristians from their villages into 
Persia ; on the morrow I should myself witness the unhappy state 
of the poor Nestorians. 

We rose early on the following day, and left Nera long before 
the population was stirring, by a very steep pathway, winding 
over the face of a precipice, and completely overhanging the vil- 
lage. Reaching the top of the pass we came upon a natural carpet 
of Alpine flowers of every hue, spread over the eastern declivity 
of the mountain, and cooled and moistened by the snows and 
glaciers which fringed the deep basin. The valley at our feet was 
the Nestorian district of Shemisden, thickly set with Christian 
villages, the first of which, Bedewi, we reached after passing a 
few cultivated patches cleared from the forest of oaks. The inhabit* 
ants who flocked out to see us were miserably poor, the children 
starved and naked, the men and women scarcely half-covered 
with rags. Leaving the caravan to proceed to our nighfs resting- 
place, I turned down the valley with my companions to visit the 
bishop at his convent * of Mar Hananisho. 

A ride of three quarters of an hour brought us to the episcopal 
residence, t Mar Isho, the bishop, met me at some distance from 
it He was shabbily dressed, and not of prepossessing appearance ; 
but he appeared to be good-nuturcd, and to have a fair stock of 
common sense. After we hod exchanged the common salutations, 
seated on a bank of wild thyme, he led the way to the porch of 
the church. Ragged carpets and felts had been spread in tho 
dark vestibule, in the midst of sacks of com, bourghoul, and 
other provisions for the bit^hop's establishment. Various rude 
agricultural instruments, and spinning wheels, almost filled up the 
rest of the room ; for these primitive Christians rely on the sanctity 
of their places of worship for the protection of their temporal stores. 
The church itself was entered by a low doorway, through which 
a man of moderate size could scarcely squeeze himself, and was even 
darker than the anteroom. It is an ancient building, and the 
bishop knew nothing of the date of its foundation. Although ser- 
vice is occasionally (>erformed, the communion is not administered 
in it. One or two tattered parchment folios, whose title-pages 

• Ab I have u«ed the word coDTent, it may be necetsary to remind the reader 
that the Nestorians have no establishments answering to Koman Catholic places 
of retirement, and that monastic tows are not taken bj them. 

t The height of the coDTent aboTC the IcTel of the sea is, by observation, GC2S 


were unfortunately wanting, but which were evideutlj of an early 
period, were heaped up in a corner with a few modern manuscripta 
on paper^ the prey of mildew and insects. The title of the bishop is 
^* Metropolitan of Roustak," a name of which I could not learu 
the origin. His jurisdiction extends over many Nestorian vil- 
lages chiefly in the valley of Shemisden.* Half of this district is 
within the Persian territories, and from the convent we could 
see the frontier dominions of the Shah. It is in the high road 
of the periodical migrations of the great tribe of Herki, who 
pass like a locust-cloud twice a year over the settlements of the 
unfortunate Christians, driving before them the flocks, spoiling the 
granaries, and carrying away even the miserable furniture of the 
hovels. It is in vain that the sufferers carry their complaints to 
their Kurdish master ; he takes from them double the lawful taxes 
and tithes. The Turkish government has in this part of the moun- 
tains no power, if it had the inclination, to protect its Christian 

After we had partaken of the frugal breakfast of milk, honey, 
and fruit prepared for us by the bishop, we turned again into the 
high road to Bash-Kalah. We liad another (xass to cross before de- 
scending into the valley of Harouna, where our caravan had en- 
camped for the night. On the mountain top were several Nes- 
torian families crouching, half naked, for shelter beneath a 
projecting rock. They seized the bridles of our horses as we rode 
by, beseeching us to help them to recover their little property, 
which, but a few hours before, had been swept away by a party of 
Herki Kurds. I could do nothing for these poor people, who 
seemed in the last stage of misery. On the other side of the 
valley we spied the black tent of the robbers, and their vast 
flocks of sheep and herds of horses roving over the green pastures. 
Their encampments were scattered over the uplands even to the 
borders of the snow, and to the feet of the bare i>erpendicular 
peaks forming the highest crests of the mountains. We were not 

* The following are the villages in the valley of Shemisden, or Shemdeena. 
Those marked K. are inhabited by Mussulman Kurds, those with an N. by 
Nestorians: — Butaimo (N.), Bedewi(N.), Benerwi (K.), Sheikhan (K.), Bakurt 
(K.), Souri (K.), Bebabi (N.), Bemulli (K.), Fakkayien (K.), Tatt^ (K.), Mezrai 
(K.), Beburka (K.),Khu8na (K.), G(irdekki (K.), Jemanan (K), Shaweeta (K.), 
GaounaGundi (K.), Maseru (K.)» Gara (K.), Bedinari (K.), Mullai (K.), Ga- 
laishim (K.), Peslikalan (K.), Madrita (K.), Bale (K.), Katoona (N. and K.), 
Hallana (N). The remaining Nestorian villages in the district of Shemisdea 
are Souraserri, Hallan, Teis, Nerdoosa, Tallana, Harounan, Serdost, Deriean, 
Serunos, Derrieya, Mar Isho, Beyghirdi, and Bentur. 


certain what our own fate might be, were we to fall in with a 
band of these notorious marauders. 

From the summit of the pass we looked down into two deep 
and well-wooded valleys, hemmed in by mountains of singularly 
picturesque form. In that to the left we could indistinctly see 
two large villages, Erawa and Serunos, the latter once the dwelling- 
place of the Mirs of Shemdeena. We descended into the more 
northern valley, ' and passing the miserable Nestorian hamlet of 
Sourasor, and the ruined church and deserted Christian village of 
Tellana, reached our tents about sunset. They were pitched near 
Ilarouna, whose Nestorian inhabitants were too poor to furnish us 
with even the commion coarse black bread of barley. 

A low ridge separated us from the district of Ghaour or Ghiaver, 
a remarkable plain of considerable extent ; the b:\sin, it would seem, 
of some ancient lake, and now a vast morass, receiving the drain- 
age of the great mountains which surround it. To the west it 
is bounded by a jMjrfect wall of rock, from which spring the 
lofty snow-clad peaks of Jclu, the highest of central Kur- 
distan. To the east, a line of hills form the frontier limits of 
Turkey and Persia. We had now quitted the semi- independent 
Kurdish valleys, and had entered the newly created province of 
Hakkiari, governed by a Psisha, who resides at Basb-Kalah. The 
plain of Ghaour is, however, exposed to the depredations of the 
Herki Kurds, who, when pursued by the Turkish troops, seek a 
secure retreat in their rocky fastnesses, beyond the limits of the 

The district contains many villages, inhabited by a hardy and 
induitrious race of Nestorian Christians. The American mission- 
aries of Ooroomiyah have crossed the frontier since my visit, and 
have, I am informed, o|>ened schools in them with encouraging 
proj»|)ccts of success. Ghaour is a Nestorian bishopric 

We were oblijjcd to follow a track over the low hills skirtin*; the 
plains in order to avoid the marsh. On its very edge we passed 
sovvnil Kurdish villages, the houses being mere holes in the earth, 
alnio^jit hidden by hea|>s of dry dung collected for fuel. The snow 
lies deep in this elevated region during more than half the year, 
and all conununication is cut off with the rest of the world, ex- 
cept to the adventurous footman who dares brave the dangers of 
the mountain storm. During the summer the moist earth brings 
forth an abundance of flowers, and the plain was now chequered 
with many-C4jlored patches. Here and there were small fields of 
grain, which had just time to ripen between the snows of the I 


winters. The husbandman with his rude plough, drawn sometimes 
by ten buffaloes, was even now preparing the heavy soil for the 
seed. The cold is too great for the cultivation of barley*, of fruits 
and even of most vegetables, and there is not a solitary tree in 
the plain. The supplies of the inhabitants are chiefly derived 
from Persia. 

A ride of six hours and a-half brought us to the lai^e village of 
Dizza, the chief place of the district, and the residence of a 
Turkish Mudir, or petty governor. This office was filled by one 
Adel Bey, the brother of Izzet, the Pasha of the province. A 
small force of regular and irreguLir troops was quartered with 
him, on the inhabitants, and he had two guns to awe the Kurds 
of the neighbourhood. Soon after my arrival I called on him. 
Seated near him on the divan I found my old friend Ismail 
Agha of Tepelin, who had shown me hospitality three years 
before in the ruined castle of Amadiyaluf He was now in com» 
mand of the Albanian troops forming part of the garrison. A 
change had come over him since we last met. The jacket and 
arms which had once glittered with gold, were now greasy and 
dulL His face was as worn as his garments. After a cordial 
greeting he made me a long speech on his fortunes, and on that 
of Albanian irregulars in general. " Ah ! Bey,** said he, ** the 
power and wealth of the Osmanlis is at an end. The Sultan has 
no longer any authority. The accursed Tanzimat (Reform) has 
been the ruin of all good men. Why, see Bey, I am obliged to 
live upon ray pay ; I cannot eat from the treasury, nor can I 
squeeze a piastre — what do I say, a piastre ? not a miserable half- 
starved fowl, out of the villagers, even though they be Christians. 
Forsooth they must talk to me about reform, and ask for money I 
The Albanian's occupation is gone. Even Tafil-Bousi (a celebrated 
Albanian condottiere) smokes his pipe, and becomes fat like a 
Turk. It is the will of God. I have foresworn raki, I believe in 
the Koran, and I keep Kamazan." 

The night was exceedingly cold. The change from the heat of 
the plains to the cool nights of the mountains had made havoc 
amongst our party. Nearly all our servants were laid up with 
fever, as well as the Doctor and Mr. Walpole, who had rarely been 


* The plain of Ghaour is, by observation, 6493 feet above the level of the 

j* Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i. p. 163. 


free from its attacks during the journey. I could not^ however, 
delay, and on the following morning our sickly caravan was again 
toiling over the hills. We had now entered the Armenian districts. 
The Christian inhabitants of Dizza are of that race and faith. From 
the elevated plain of Ghaour a series of valleys leads to Bash-Kalah, 
and the stream which winds through them joins the head waters 
of the Zab. We encamped for the night at the Kurdish village 
of Perauniss. 

Next day, near the village of Charderrah (the four valleys), we 
passed some ponds of muddy water, bubbling with gaseous ex- 
halations of a sulphurous smell*, and reached in the afternoon 
Antiss, inhabited by Armenians and Nestorians 

Lower down the same valley we found several mineral springs, 
depositing large quantities of carbonate of lime in fantastic 
forms, and converting into stone all that they touched. Basins, 
one rising above the other like those of an artificial fountain, re- 
ceived the trickling water as it issued from long conduits, ^ihich 
appeared to be cut through the whitest marble. Here and there gas 
issued from the earth with a hissing noise, but the temperature of 
the spring was not higher than that of the pools we had examined the 
day before. 

The branch of the Zab, which we had seen gradually swollen 
by small mountain rills, had become a considerable stream. We 
forded it near the ruins of a fine bridge, apparently of early 
Turkiiih masonry, and beneath an old deserted castle called Kalia* 
non. Wc now entered the valley of this great confluent of the 
Tigris, it8 principal source being but a few miles to the north of us, 
near the frontiers of Persia. The land is so heavy, that the rude 
plough of the country requires frequently as many as eight pairs of 
oxen. The Armenian ploughmen sit on the yokes, and whilst guiding 
or urging the beasts with a long iron-pointed goad, chant a mono- 
tonous ditty, to which the animals appear so well accustomed, that 
when the driver ceases from his dirge, they also stop from their 

A dell near our jxith was pointed out to me as the spot where the 
unfortunate traveller Scliulz was murdered by Nur Ullah Bey, 
the Kurdish chief of IlakkiarLf Turning op a narrow valley 

* The bigbe«t temperature of the water at the escape of gas was S*2^ ; that of 
the atmosphere 71°. 
t I 8ul«e«]uentl7 met in the Nestorian district of Baa, a Christian, who waa 


towards the high mountains^ we suddenly came in sight of the 
castle of Bash-Kalah, one of the ancient strongholds of Kur- 
distan. Its position is remarkably picturesque. It stands on a 
lofty rock, jutting out from the mountains which rise in a per- 
pendicular wall behind it. At its foot are grouped the houses of a 

We were met on the outskirts of the village by the Muhrdar, or 
seal-bearer, of the Pasha, with an escort of cawasses. He led 
us to a convenient spot for our tents, near a spring, and shortly 
after brought provisions for ourselves and horses, sent by the 
governor, who, it being early in the afternoon, was still in bed 
after his night's vigils. It was not until long after dark that I 
visited Izzet Pasha. I found him encamped at a considerable ele- 
vation in a rocky ravine*, which we reached, guided by cawasses 
carrying huge glass lanterns, by a very precipitous and difficult 
track. A small rivulet had been dammed up in front of his tents 
and formed a reservoir which mirrored the red light of a number 
of torches. 

I remained with him until the night was far advanced, and then 
returned to our encampment. He informed me that there was 
a direct road from Bash-Kalah to Mosul of forty hours, through 
Beit-Shebbet, Daoudiyah, and Dohuk, which, with very little labor 
and expense, could be made practicable for guns. Izzet Pasha's 
province, formed out of the territories of several Kurdish chiefs 
who had been recently captured and sent in exile to distant 
parts of the empire, consisted principally of the district of Al 
Bagh (of which Bash-Kalah is the chief place), the mountainous 
regions of Hakkiari, with the Nestorian valleys, Berwari and 
Amadiyah. The whole of this country had, for the first time, been 

in the service of Nur Ullah Bey at the time of the murder, and was employed 
to bury the body. According to him, Schulz, who passed by the name of Yohanan, 
was taken by the guides, furnished him by a Persian Prince, to Nur Ullah 
Bey, instead of to Mar Shamoon, whom he intended to visit. He was described 
in a letter sent to the Kurdish chief as a dangerous man, who was spying out 
the country ; an impression which was confirmed by his habit of making notes 
continually and openly. He remained ten days with the Bey, and then con- 
tinued his journey accompanied by Kurdish guards, who killed him by their 
master's orders beside a stream called Av Spiresa, near the castle of Pisa, close 
to Bash-Kalah. Two of his Christian servants were murdered with him ; his 
two Persian attendants were taken to Nur Ullah Bey, and also put to death. 

* The place of our encampment at Bash-Kalah was, by observation, 7818 feet 
above the level of the sea. 


brought under the immediate control of the Porte. The Pasha 
was desirous of ascertaining its resources, and especially the extent 
of its mineral wealth, of which exaggerated reports had reached 
Constantinople. The inexperienced officers sent to survey his 
pashalicy had already discovered one or two mines^ the most pro- 
fitable hitherto being one of arsenic, which he had farmed on 
advantageous terms to some Armenian merchants. 

Bash-Kalah was formerly the dwelling-place of Nur UUah Bey, 
a Kurdish chief well-known for his rapacious and blood-thirsty 
character, and as the murderer of Schulz. He joined Beder Khan 
Bey in the great massacres of the Nestorians, and for many years 
sorely vexed those Christians who were within his rule. After a 
long resistance to the troops of the Sultan, he was captured 
about two years before my visit, and banished for life to the island 
of Candia. Late at night I visited Wall Pasha, the commander 
of the Turkish troops, who resided in the stronghold of the former 
chief. I reached the harem, then occupied by the general^ through 
many dark passages leading from the arched gateway. The walls 
and towers are ill-built, and it was chiefly owing to its inacces- 
sible position that the castle was so long able to defy the undis- 
ciplined forces sent against it. 

My companions and servants being much in want of rest, I stopped 
a day at Baeh-Kalah. On resuming our journey we took a direct 
though difficult track to Wan, only open in the middle of summer. 
Following a small stream, we entered a ravine leading into the 
very heart of the mountains. Three hours' ride, always rapidly 
aifcending along the banks of the rivulet, brought us to a large 
encampment. The flocks had been driven down from the higher 
pasturci*, and were gathered together to be milked before the 
black tents. A party of women already crouched round their 
blioep. Their long hair was platted in tresses ending in tassels 
niitigle<l with gold coins. From a high turban of gay colors, 
also adorned with coins, a thin white veil fell over their shoul- 
dcn>, and their flowing garments were of bright silk. The 
children run to and fro with wooden bowls, and a girl standing 
near sang a plaintive air, beating the measure on a tam- 
l>ourine. The features of the women and of the men, who came 
out of their tents as we rode up, as well as the tongue in which 
they addressed one another, showed at once that they were 
not Kurds. They were Jews, shepherds and wanderers, of the 


stocky may be, of those who, with their high priest Hyrcanus^ were 
carried away ca[)tive from Jerusalem by Tigranes in the second 
century of our era, and placed in the city and neighbourhood of 
Wan. Their descendants, two hundred years after, were already so 
numerous that Shapour (Sapores) II. destroyed no less than 10,000 
families in Wan alone.* 

We encamped near the Jewish nomades, and I visited their 
tents, but could learn nothing of their history. They fed their 
flocks, as their fathers had done before them, in these hills, and 
paid taxes to the governor of Bash-Kalah. There were many other 
families, keepers of sheep like themselves, scattered over tlie 
mountains; they were shepherds again, as they had been when 
they were an abomination to the Egyptians. 

We had now reached the higher regions of Kurdistan.t Next 
morning we soon left the narrow flowery valley and the brawling 
stream, and entered an undulating upland covered with deep 
snow, considerably more than ten thousand feet above the level 
of the sea. On all sides of us were towering peaks, and to the 
west a perfect sea of mountains, including the lofty ranges of Hak- 
kiari and Bohtan. Far away to the north was the azure basin 
of Lake Wan, and beyond it rose the solitary white cone of the 
Subhan Dagh. A light wind drove a few fleecy clouds across the 
sunny landscape, now veiling some distant hill, now hiding in 
shadow the deep valleys. A covey of large birds sailed with a 
rapid swoop, and with the whistling sound peculiar to the partridcre 
kind, from an opposite height, and alighted within a few yards of 
me. They were the Kabk-i-dereh, or the Our-kaklik as they are 
called by the Turks ; a gigantic partridge, almost the size of a 
small turkey, only found in the highest regions of Armenia and 

Descending rapidly, and passing, near the foot of the mountain, 
one or two miserable, half-deserted Kurdish hamlets, we entered a 
long narrow ravine, shut in by perpendicular cliffs of sandstone 
and conglomerate. This outlet of the mountain streams opens into 
the valley of Mahmoudiyah, in the centre of which rises an isolated 
rock crowned by the picturesque castle of Kosh-Ab. 

♦ Moses of Choreno, 1. ii. c. 19. St. Martin, Mem. sur F Armenia, vol. u 
p. 139. These Jews, I am assured, indulge, like their Mussulman neighbours 
in polygamy. 

f The Jewish encampment was 9076 feet above the level of the sea. 


We pitched our tents on a green lawn, near the bank of the 
foaming stream which sweeps round the foot of the castellated 
rock. Soon after our arrival a Kurdish Bey, of venerable appear- 
ance, a descendant of the hereditary chiefs of Mahmoudiyah, 
called upon me. He had once been the owner of the castle, but 
had been driven from it by an adventurer of some celebrity in this 
part of Kurdistan. This marauder had recently been captured by the 
Turks, who had seized his pix)perty, but had not restored it to its 
rightful owner. The village, once a town, whose ruined mosques, 
baths, and bridges still remain, was named Mahmoudiyah, after 
a certain Mahmoud Bey, who was of the noble Kurdish family 
claiming lineal descent from the Abbassidc Caliphs, of which the 
Bey of Jezirch, or Bohtan, is the acknowledged head. The castle, 
built in the fifteenth century, is called Nerin, or more generally 
Kosh- Ab, " the sweet water," from the pure stream flowing beneath 
it Two brothers, named Khan Murad and Khan Abdal, mere 
mountain robbers, brought together some years ago a band of fol- 
lowers who laid waste this part of Kurdistan. Khan Abdal, by a 
sudden night attack, seized the caistle of Kosh-Ab, and soon sub- 
dued the surrounding country. In this stronghold the brothers long 
defied the Turkish government, levying black-mail upon such 
Ciiravans as ventured to pass through their territories, and oppress- 
ing with fines and forced conversions their Christian subjects. 
It was but the year before our visit that they had yielded to the 
troops sent against them, and had been sent into banishment, with 
the rest of the rebel chiefs, to Candia. 

With the Kurdish Bey came one Ahmed Agha, a chief of the 
large border tribe of Mogri, an intelligent man, who conversed 
freely on the state of the country, and gave me some interesting 
information regarding the frontiers. The fear of the conscription 
has driven many families into Persia, and into the more independent 
distriets of Kurdistan. On the whole, the wandering tribes are be- 
coming IctjH formidable to the Porte than they formerly were. The 
northern frontiers between Turkey and Persia are no less unsettled 
than the southern. The tribes that inhabit them refusing allegiance 
to both governments, and receiving encouragement from both in 
aggressions upon their neighbours, have hitherto been sure of a 
place of refu;:e by crossing the border, when their depredations 
have at length driven either power to send a military ex|)cdition 
against them. A commiaaion was finally named by the two Mo- 

C c 


hammedan states^ in conjunction with England and Russia, to 
settle the long- vexed question of the boundaries, which, in 1841, 
nearly led to a war between them. Diplomatic diflSculties and 
national jealousies, embittered by religious differences, have hitherto 
retarded the labors of this joint commission ; but it is to be hoped 
that, by the help of the European officers who are members of it, 
the survey will ere long be completed, and the terms proposed be 
accepted. The uncertainty which has so long existed as to the 
nationality of the various frontier tribes will then be set at rest, 
and some of the principal causes of the unsettled state of Kurdis- 
tan, and of the frequent disputes between the two powers, will be 

To the east of the district of Mahmoudiyah, and in that of 
Karasou, are many Yezedi villages and a considerable Jewish popu- 
lation.* Both races are much oppressed by the Kurdish chiefs, 
who take their property, and even their lives, with perfect in- 
difference, ** the Cadis," as Ahmed Agha informed me, " having 
given fetwahs (decrees) that both were lawful to the true be- 

We rose early next morning, and went up to the castle. 
As it was still Ramazan, the small garrison of regular troops and 
undisciplined Albanians had feasted during the night and were 
now sleeping. We knocked at the iron-bound gate for some time 
without arousing the slumberers. At length a slipshod sen- 
tinel, who appeared to have been fast asleep at his post drew 
back the rusty bolts. He would not, however, admit us, 
until he had received orders from the officer in command, who, 
with much good-nature, slipt on a threadbare uniform, turned 
out the scarcely awakened guard, and received us with military 
honors. The castle is falling into ruins, though its towers still 
rise boldly from the edge of the precipice, overhanging at a 
giddy height the valley below. In them, open to the cool breezes 
of the mountain, are the dwelling-rooms of the old Kurdish 
chiefs, adorned with tasteful lattice- work, and with the painted 
panellings and gilded cornices of Persia. They are now tenanted 
by the Turkish troops, whose bright arms and highly-polished 
kitchen utensils hang on the gaudy walls. A few long brass guns 

♦ Amongst the Jewish population scattered widely over this part of ancient 
Media, might be sought the descendants of the ten tribes, with more proba- 
bility than in the various lands which ingenious speculation has pointed out 
as the dwelling-places of the remnant of Israel. 


richly embossed^ the work of the early Turkish conquerors of 
Kurdistan, lie, upset from their carriages, on the crumbling battle- 
ments. After drinking coffee and smoking pipes with the captain 
of the guard, we walked down the narrow pathway leading to the 
valley and, mounting our horses, joined the caravan, which had 
preceded us on the road to Wan. 

Hormuzd having been seized with a severe attack of fever, 
and a heavy storm breaking over us, we stopped, after a ride of 
about fourteen miles, at the Armenian village of Hindostan, 
situated in a rich but thinly peopled valley, called Khawassan. 
On the following morning we crossed this valley to Nourtchouk, 
at the outskirts of which I was met by the priest at the head of 
the inhabitants. A range of low hills now separated us from the 
plain and lake of Wan. We soon reached their crest, and a 
landscape of surpassing beauty was before us. At our feet, 
intensely blue and sparkling in the rays of the sun, was the 
inland sea, with the sublime peak of the Subhan Dagh, mirrored 
in its transparent waters. The city, with its castle-crowned rock 
and its embattled walls and towers, lay embowered in orchards 
and gardens. To our right a rugged snow- capped mountain 
oi>ened midway into an amphitheatre, in which, amidst lofty trees, 
stood the Armenian convent of Yedi Klissia (the seven churches). 
To the west of the lake was the NimroudDagh, and the highlands 
nourishing the sources of the great rivers of Mesopotamia. The 
hilU forming the foreground of our picture were carpeted with 
the brightest flowers, over which wandered the flocks, whilst the 
gjiily dressed shepherds gathered around us as we halted to con- 
template the enchanting scene. 

NVe now descended rapidly towards Wan, and as we issued 
into the plain, a party of horsemen galloped towards us. I soon 
recognised amongst them my friend Mr. Bowen ; with him were 
the Cawass-Bashi and a troop of irregular cavalry, sent out by 
the Pasha to escort me into the city. Nor did the governor's 
kindness end with this display of welcome. After winding for 
nearly an hour through orchards and gardens, whose trees were 
bending under the weight of fruit, and then through the narrow and 
crowded streets, we were led to his serai or palace, which, such as 
it was, had been made ready for our use, and where his treasurer 
was waiting to receive us. Notwithstanding the fast, an abundant 
breakfast of various meats and sweet messes, cooked after the 

c c 3 


Turkish fashion, had been prepared for us, and we soon found re- 
pose upon a spacious divan, eurrouaded by all the luxuries of 
Eastern life. 



Mf.iieiiet Pahha was living during the fast of Kamazan inakio^ 
in one of tliegartluns outsiJc t lie city walia. M'cIijuI scarcely eaten, 
lioforo ho came himself to welcome ua to Wan. He waa the son of 
the last ituBtanilji- Uiiehi of Constantinople, and liaving l>cea 
brou;;ht up from a child in the imperial palace, was a man of 
plcafing and dignified manners, and of coneiderablo information. 
Although he had never left his native omntry, ho was not ig- 
iiumnt of the hahits and ctutonid of Euri>]>c He had long 
vcrvitl the Sultan in ditScult and rcspontsiblo {mete, aud to his 
diM-rction and iiagncity was chiefly to be attributed the Bubju- 
gntiim of Itcder-Khan Bey and the rcWl Kurdish trilxM. Hi* 
rule wan mild and conciliating, and he [loascssed those ({ualitiea bo 
rare in a Turkish governor, yet so indisjMinsablfl to the civilt- 


sation and well-being of the empire, — a strict honesty in the admi- 
nistration of the revenues of his province, and a sense of justice 
beyond the reach of bribes. From Christians and Kurds we had 
received, during our journey through his pashalic, the highest testi- 
mony to his tolerance and integrity. 

In the evening I returned his visit, and found him surrounded 
by the chiefs and elders of the city, and by the oflScers of his house- 
hold. I sat with him till midnight, the time passing in that 
agreeable conversation which a well-educated Turk so well knows 
how to sustain. 

I remained a week at Wan, chiefly engaged in copying the 
cuneiform inscriptions, and in examining its numerous remarkable 
monuments of antiquity. 

The city is of very ancient date. It stands on the borders of 
a large and beautiful lake, a iiie eminently suited to a pros- 
perous community. The lofty mountains bordering the inland 
sea to the east, here recede in the form of an amphitheatre, 
leaving a rich plain five or six miles in breadth, in the midst of 
which rises an isolated, calcareous rock. To the summit of this 
natural stronghold, there is no approach, except on the western 
side, where a gradual but narrow ascent is defended by walls 
and bastions. From the earliest ages it has consequently been the 
acropolis of the city, and no position could be stronger before the 
discovery of the engines of modern warfare. The fortifications 
and castle, of a comparatively recent date, are now in ruins, and are 
scarcely defensible, with their few rusty guns, against the attacks 
of the neighbouring Kurds. 

According to Armenian history, the Assyrian queen Semiramis 
founded the city, which, after her, was originally named Schamiram- 
jerd. Here, in the delicious gardens which she had planted in 
the fertile plain, and which she had watered with a thousand rills, 
she sought refuge from the intolerable heats of a Mesopotamian 
summer, returning again, on the approach of winter, to her palaces 
at Nineveh. 

The first city having fallen to decay, it is said to have been 
rebuilt, shortly before the invasion of Alexander the Great, by an 
Armenian king named Wan, after whom it was subsequently 
called. It appears to have been again abandoned, for we find that 
it was once more raised from its foundations in the second century 
B.C. by Yagharschag, the first king of the Arsacian dynasty of 
At lia, who made it the strongest city in the kingdom. In the 

venth century it was ceded by the royal family of the Ardz- 


rounis to the Greek emperors, from whom it was taken by the 
Seljuk Turks. It fell, in 1392, into the hands of Timourlane, who, 
according to his custom, gave the inhabitants over to the sword. 
Even in his day, the great monuments of solid stone, raised by 
the Assyrian queen, were still shown to the stranger. 

Moses of Chorene, the early historian of Armenia, has faithfully 
described its position and its antiquities ; the isolated hill, rising 
in the midst of a broad plain covered with flourishing villages, 
and watered by innumerable streams ; the chapels, chambers, 
treasuries, and caverns cut in the living rock, and the great 
inscriptions written, as it were, on the face of the precipice, as pages 
are written with a pen on wax. Twelve thousand workmen and 
six thousand master masons were employed, he declares, by Semi- 
ramis to execute those mighty works. The artificial caves and the 
inscriptions still remain, but modem research has proved that 
they belong to a fur different period than that to which they were 
assigned by the Armenian antiquary. 

The first traveller who, in modern times, examined thie remark- 
able remains of antiquity at Wan was the unfortunate Schulz. 
He visited the place in 1827. The cuneiform inscriptions carved 
on the rock were known to exist long before his day, but he waa 
the first to copy them, and from his copies they have been published 
by the Asiatic Society of France.* JSince the time of Schulz, the 
city has undergone many changes. It was seized by the rebel 
Kurdish chief, Khan Mahmoud, who massacred the Turkish 
garrison, inflicted large fines upon the Christians, and grievously 
(»])pres8ed the dei>endent villages. After the troops of the Sultan 
had made many vain attempts to recover the place, it finally 
yielded two years before my journey. Under the mild rule of 
Meheniet Pasha it was rapidly rising to prosperity. The pro- 
tection he had given to the Armenians had encouraged that 
enterprising and industrious [>cople to enlarge their commerce, 
and to build warehouses for trade. Two handsome khans, with 
bazars attached, were nearly finished. Shops for the sale of 
Euro|x*an articles of clothing and of luxury had been opened ; 
and, what was of still more importance, several native schools 
had already been established. These improvements were chiefly 
due to one Sliaran, an Armenian merchant and a man of liberal 
and enlightened views, who had seconded with energy and libe- 

In the ninth volume of the new series of their Transactions; a memoir by 
S<:hui/ accompanies the inscriptions. 

c c 4 


rality the desire of the Pasha to ameliorate the social condition 
of the Christian population.* 

Shortly after my arrival, the Armenian bishop called upon me. 
He was dressed in the peculiar costume of his order, — long black 
robes and a capacious black hood almost concealing his head, — and 
was accompanied by the priests and principal laymen of his diocese. 
On his breast he wore the rich diamond crescent and star of the 
Turkish order of merit, of which he was justly proud. It had 
been asked for him of the Sultan by the Pasha, as an encourage- 
ment to the Christians, and as a proof of the spirit of tolerance 
which animated the government. If such jwinciples were fully 
carried out in Turkey, there would be good hope for the empire. 
Although he had been duly elected several years before to his epi- 
scopal dignity, he still wanted the formal consecration of the patri- 
arch of his church. This ceremony had hitherto been omitted on 
account of differences which had estranged the Armenian clergy 
residing in the Turkish dominions from the head of their sect, 
whose seat is the convent of Echmiadsin, made over to Russia 
at the close of the last war. These differences, arising from 
political interference in the management of the affairs of the 
Church, had for some time threatened a division in the com- 
munity, that portion of it which acknowledges the authority of 
the Sultan wishing to place itself under a patriarch wlio resides 
at Cis, in Cilicia, and, consequently, beyond foreign control. 
The quarrel had now, however, been settled, and the bishop was 
on the eve of his departure to receive that consecration which w^as 
essential to his due admission into the Armenian hierarchy. 

The modern town of Wan stands at the foot, and to the south of, 
the isolated rock. Its streets and Itazars are small, narrow, and 
dirty ; but its houses are not ill built. It is surrounded by fruit- 
ful gardens and orchards, irrigated by artificial rivulets derived 
from the streams rising in the Yedi Klissia mountains. It may 
contain between twelve and fifteen thousand inhabitants. The 

* I D)ust not omit to mention the name of Dr. Bimerstein, a German gentle- 
man at the head of the quarantine establishment, from whom I received much 
civility and assistance during my stay at Wan, and who, by the influence be 
had obtained over the Pasha, and by his integrity and good sense, had con- 
tributed considerably towards the improvement in the condition of the Chris- 
tians, and the general prosperity of the pashalic. lie was a pleasing ex- 
ception in a class made up of the refuse and outcasts of £urope, who have done 
more than is generally known to corrupt the Turkish character, and to bring 
an European and a Christian into contempt. I am proud to say that aa 
Englishman b not, I believe, to be found amongst them. 


whole pashalic at the time of my visit paid an annual sum of six 
thousand purses (about 27,000/.) to the Turkish treasury. In the 
town there was a garrison of a thousand foot and five hundred 
horse, and the commander of the troops in the district and in the 
adjoining province of Hakkiari was at the head of five thousand 

The old hereditary pashas of Wan, as well as the principal 
families, were of Turkish origin, and came, I was informed by 
some of their descendants, from Konia (Iconium), about three 
hundred years ago. The chiefs, however, of the surrounding 
districts are Kurds. Two families, named the Topchi-oglus 
and the Timour-oglus, divided the town into opposite factions, 
which were continually at war, and carried their bloody feuds 
almost daily into the streets. The Timour-oglus were the most 
powerful, and it was through their means that Khan Makmoud 
possessed himself of the place. 

The inscriptions of Wan are of two distinct periods, though all 
in the cuneiform writing. The most ancient are in a character 
identical with that on the oldest monuments of Assyria.! The 
only one not entirely in this Assyrian character is on the southern 
face of the rock, inaccessible from all sides, but easily legible on 
account of the size and distinctness of its letters, by a glass from 
below. It was copied by Schulz, and is a trilingual tablet of 
Xerxes the son of Darius, very nearly word for word the same as 
those of the same king at Hamadan ( Kcbatana) and Persepolis. 

The earliest inscriptions are found on two square stones built 
into a wall near the western gateway of the city, and imme- 
diately beneath the only entrance to the castle. This wall ap- 
pears to have been part of the old fortifications, and at a more 
recent period formed one of the sides of a Christian church, dedi- 
cated to St. John, but now in ruins. J The inscribed stones were 
taken from some far more ancient building. 

* Wan is about 5600 feet above the level of the sea. 

t The distinguishing feature of the AVan writing is a tendency to repeat the 

horizontal wedge when two wedges intersect : thus ^]*" for >|-. In this cha- 
racter are the inscriptions at Fahlou, on the Euphrates (Brit. Mus. Series, p. 74.), 
on a rock near Malatiyah on the same river (copied by M. MUhlbach, and pub- 
lished by the Syro-Egyptian Society), on a column at Patnos (copied by the 
Hon. F. Walpole), and in various parts of Armenia, but principally in the neigh- 
bourhood of Lake AVan. 

I In Schulz's collection only one of these inscriptions is given (No. 1.); one 
13 seven, the other eight lines in length. 


The two inscriptions are similar, and contain the names of a 
king and his father, which have not been satisfactorily deci- 
phered. They are written, 

It is remarkable that the royal titles 

« th ^Vi « ^m 4- « I « *-" ^r ^ -Tr<T 

are precbely the same as to those used by the early monarchs of 
A««yria, with the exception of " King of Nahiri," a name apparently 
applied to the northernmost part of Mesopotamia, between the 
hesul waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris, and i)erhaps even 
including the lake of Wan. It is possible that this country may 
also be identified with the Xaharina of the Egyptian monuments, 
which, there are grounds for believing, may have been far to the 
north of the Mesopotamia of the Greeks. 

It is also to be remarked that the language of these inscrip- 
tions ap[)ears to be Assyrian*, whilst that of all the others is 
I>eculiar to Wan. Nevertheless the names of the kings in them 
can be genealogically connected, as it will be seen, with those 
on the other monuments. 

IJiit the m(»st important records at Wan are carve<l on the 
southtTii face of the isolated rock, round the entrance to a 
set {){ excavated chamber!*, probably once serving as tombs, which, 
unlike the artificial caves at Bavian and Malthaiyah, may be 
referred to the same i)eriod as the inscriptions. As those in- 
scriptions record the victories and deeds of a monarch, it is 
highly probable that they were placed over royal sepulchres. 

A flight of twenty narrow steps cut in the perpendicular face 
of the precipice, and partly destroyed, so as to be somewhat dif- 
ficult and dangerous, leads to a narrow ledge, above which the rock 
has l>cen carefully sm(K>thed, and is still covered with inscrip- 
tions in the cuneiform character. Here an entrance, about 7 feet 
deep, o|)ons into a hall, 34 ^ feet long, by nearly 21 wide and 12 
high, leading by four doorways into as many distinct chambers. 

* Th«* Aamc forms ofexprcttHiun occur in the«e inscriptions as in the standard 
in!MTi()tion of Ximnmd : coin(>are the 2ml and 3nl lines of Schul/s copy with 
the t>(h and 7th lines of Urit. Mus. Series, p. 3. 


ArouiKl its walls are window-like recesses, and between them, and 
on each side of the doorways, are ornamental niches, with holes in 

the centre, which may ha^c held metal lamps. The floor has been 
excavated in two places into squares a few inches deep , I cannot 
conjecture for what purpose. 

The door to the left on entering leads into a small chamber, 
lift. 8in bj 9ft. 8m., surrounded by similar window-like recesses. 
In it is a second doorway opening upon a well or pit, filled to 
within a few feet of the mouth uith stones and rubbish. There 
were no means of ascertaining its depth or original use without re- 


moving the contents. The three other doors in the entrance hall 
lead to square rooms, surrounded by niches, but without other or- 
nament. The excavations are sometimes called by the Turks 
" Khorkhor Mugaralari," the caves of Khorkhor, from a garden 
of that name below them. 

The inscriptions on the face of the rock around the outer en- 
trance to these chambers are contained in eight parallel columns, 
including in all above 300 lines and thirteen consecutive para- 
graphs.* The letters are large and admirably carved, and the writing 
b divided by horizontal lines. They are defective in many places, 
partly from natural decay, but mainly from wilful injury : the ob- 
literated characters may to a great extent be restored by a com- 
parison of the several inscriptions which contain corresponding pas- 
6ages.t These rock-tablets are the records of a king whose name, 
according to Dr. Hincks, is Arghistis. lie invokes the gods of his 
nation, and celebrates the conquest of various peoples or tribes, 
whose names still require to be identified, but who probably inhab- 
ited countries to the north of Armenia ; he describes the burning of 
their temples and palaces, and the carrying away of captives and of 
an immense spoil of horses, camels, cattle, and sheep, the numbers 
of each being given with apparent exactness. The name of the 
region in which these conquests were chiefly made, seems to read 

The gardens beneath these inscriptions belong to the family of 
one of the former hereditary Piu»hns of Wan. A spring gushes 
forth from the foot of the rock, and over it is a small tablet, once 
containing a legend in arrow-headed characters, now entirely de- 
stroyed. The grounds, as I have observed, are called Khorkhor, 
and this name has been believed to occur in the cuneiform inscrip- 
tions as the ancient name of Wan, on the supposition that it is 
still given to the wh(»Ie castle. I was assured, however, that it is 
limited to these gardens. X 

The remaining inscriptions are on the northern face of the rock. 
They are five in number.§ The longest and most important con- 
tains twenty-nine lines, and is on the side wall to the left on enter- 

* These inscnptionf are numbered from iL to Tiii. in Schuls*8 collection. 

t Anil see Dr. IIincki>*8 Memoir on the Inscriptions of Wan, § 2. in the Journal 
of the Hojal Asiatic S<K*ietjr. 

I The ancient pmvince of Khorkhorunik was to the wt$i of the lake of 
\V«n ; the citjr of Wan stood in that of Dosb. 

{ Numbered in Schulx*s collection from xii. to xvi. 


ing an artificial vaulted recess. It has been partly destroyed by a 
rude cross cut by the Armenians across the tablet. The cave is 
called the ^^ Khazana Kapousi,'' or the treasure gate, and is held 
to be a sacred spot by Christians and Mussulmans. Beneath 
it, according to tradition, an iron gate, guarded by genii armed 
with swords of flame, closes the entrance to a vast hall filled with 
all manner of riches. The magic words that can alone open this 
portal are contained in the inscription, which is guarded at night 
by a serpent, who retires at break of day into a hole near the 

An inscription of seventeen lines is carved at the entrance to a 
second artificial chamber, and on tablets cut in the rock are three 
more, each of nineteen lines, word for word alike, but with ortho- 
graphical variations in the royal name. 

Four of these inscriptions belong to the father of the king, 
who recorded his conquests on the southern face of the rock. 
His name, according to Dr. Hincks, may be read Minnas. They 
merely contjun the royal titles and invocations to the gods. 
The long inscription in the vaulted recess f is of the grandson 
of Minuas, the latest king mentioned on the monuments of 
Wan. It is of considerable interest as containing the name of 

a country, >^^<y ^^ T^lf ^111= which Dr. Hincks identifies 
with Babylon, and as enumerating, first in detail, the amount 
of booty taken from three different countries, and afterwards giv- 
ing the total amount of the whole. By this double account the 
one checking the other, a clue was afforded to the signs represent- 
ing numerals in the Assyrian inscriptions, as well as to their 
respective values, a discovery for which we are indebted to the 
sagacity of Dr. Hincks.J It gives, moreover, a long list of nations 
conquered by the Armenian king, of which the principal appears 
to be called Abana, a name not yet identified. 

The Pasha had kindly placed the " Mimar Bashi," or archi- 
tect in chief of the town, an intelligent and honest Armenian, 
named Nikoos, under my orders during my researches at Wan. I 
also found in the place a half- crazy Cawass, who had been all the 
way to Constantinople to obtain a firman for leave to dig for treasure 
beneath the inscribed tablets. The imperial document had been 

• Schulz gives this tradition, which, like many others, is probably of very 
ancient date. 

f Schulz, No. xii. 

} See Dr. Hincks's Paper on the Wan Inscriptions, in the Journal of the 
Royal Asiatic Society. 


granted^ with a clause, however, that a share of the riches dis- 
covered should be paid into the Sultan's treasury. His search had 
hitherto been vain, although his purse had been emptied ; but he 
knew all the old stones and inscriptions in the neighbourhood. 
With the aid of these two men I carried on excavations for a 
short time at the foot of the northern face of the rock, without 
other results than clearing away the earth from one or two half- 
buried tablets, and laying bare the artificially smoothed rock. 

About a mile and a half to the east of the town, near a small 
village in the gardens of Wan, is a recess in the rock 15 feet 
8 inches high, and 6 feet 7 inches broad, containing a long 
cuneiform inscription. On the tablet may still be traced the 
remains of the yellow varnish, or glaze, mentioned by Schulz. 
The ancient Persians appear to have protected their rock-carved 
inscriptions by similar means from the effects of the atmosphere^ 
traces of the glaze having been discovered on the great monument 
of Bisutun.* The inscription is called Meher Kapousi, which, ac- 
cording to the people of Wan, means the Shepherd's Gate, from a 
tradition that a shepherd, having fallen asleep beneath it, was told in 
a dream the magic word that opened the spell-bound portal. He 
awoke and straightway tried the talisman. The stone doors flew 
apart, disclosing to his wondering eyes a vast hall filled with inex- 
hau.<tib1e treasures ; but as he entered they shut again behind him. 
He filled with gold the hag in which, as he tended his flocks, he 
c^irried his daily food. After repeating the magic summons, he was 
permitted to issue into the o|>en air. But he had left his crook, 
and must return for it. The doors were once more unclosed at 
his bidding. He sought to retrace his steps, but had forgotten 
the talisman. His faithful dog waited outside until nightfall. 
As its master did not come back, it then took up the bag of gold and 
carrying it to the shepherd's wife, led her to the gates of the cave. 
She could hear the cries of her husband, and they are heard to this 
day, but none can give him help. 

The inscription of the Meher Kapousi originally consisted of 
ninety -five lines, comprising the same record twice repeated. 
Only alK)ut sixty are now legible. It was carved by order of 
two kings, who api>ear to have reigned together, and whose names 
Dr. Hincks reads, Ishpuinish and Minnas. It contains little else 
than a list of sacrifices and offerings made to a multitude of gods, 

• Cu\. Rawlinioa, Memoir on the Inscriptions of Dehistan, in the Journal of 
the Uo}'aI Asiatic Society. 


each one receiving a share probably according to his importance in 
the celestial hierarchy, the lowest in rank getting only one sheep, 
and the highest seventeen oxen and thirty-four sheep. With the 
gods of Armenia are mentioned those of foreign nations, who have 
the smallest portion of the honors, some obtaining but half an ox. 

Near the Shepherd's Gate the rocks are excavated into a vast 
number of caves. In some places long flights of steps lead no- 
where, but finish abruptly in the face of the perpendicular precipice ; 
in others the cliff is scarped to a great height without any apparent 
object. A singular shaft, with stairs, leading into a cavern, is 
called Zimzim. It is difficult to account for the use and origin of these 
singular excavations ; their height from the plain and their inac- 
cessible position almost preclude the idea of their having been 

Several slabs of black basalt, inscribed with cuneiform cha- 
racters, have been built into the interior walls of two ancient Arme- 
nian churches within the town of Wan.* They had been white- 
washed with the rest of the building, but the bishop obligingly 
ordered the plaster to be removed from them. Some of the in- 
scriptions are no longer legible. In the church of St. Peter and 
St. Paul I found parts of four legends f, which appear to refer to 
two kings, grandfather and grandson, whose names, according to 
Dr. Hincks, are Ishpuinish and Milidduris. They are historical, 
containing a record of the capture of many cities, and of the amount 
of spoil carried away from conquered countries. 

In the church of Surp Sahak I was able to transcribe two in- 
scriptions, one under the altar, the other in the vestibule beneath 
the level of the floor, which had to be broken up and removed 
before I could reach the stone. The longest consists of forty lines, 
the other of twenty-seven. The beginning and ending of the lines 
in both are wanting. They belong to a king whose name Dr. 
Hincks reads Arghistis, and one of them celebrates the capture 
of no less than 453 cities and 105 temples or palaces, and the 
carrying away of 25,170 (?) men, 2734 officers, 73,700 sheep, and 
an immense number of women, oxen, and other spoil.| 

The only inscription at Wan that I could not copy was the tri- 

• These churcbes are probably of great antiquity, but no record appears to 
remain of the date of their foundation. They are dark and rudely built, and 
have nothing remarkable in them. 

f Two are given by Schuiz, Nos. xxzviii. and xxxix. 

I The beginnings of the lines having been destroyed, the numbers are not 
all complete. 


lingual tablet of Xerxes. It is on the most inaccessible part of the 
rocky about seventy or eighty feet above the plain. Not having a 
glass of sufficient power^ I was unable to distinguish the charac- 
ters from below. As it had been accurately transcribed by Schulz, 
and resembles those of the same king at Persepolis and Hamadan, 
I did not think it necessary to incur any risk or expense in reach- 
ing it by means of ropes or scaffolding.* 

In the rock there are numerous excavated chambers^ some 
even exceeding in dimensions those I have described ; but^ with 
the exception of a simple seat or bench of stone, about two and a 
half feet high on one side of them, they are perfectly plain and un- 
omamented. They appear to have been used as tombs, and Schulz 
declares that he found human bones in them ; but it is doubtful 
whether those remains belonged to the original occupants. Some 
are approached by flights of steps cut in the precipice ; others are 
altogether inaccessible except by ropes from above. As they all 
more or less resemble the one previously mentioned, I will not 
give a particular account or accurate measurements of them.f 

I add a list of the kings mentioned in the inscriptions of 
Wan in the order of their succession, which may be interesting to 
the historical student. 

1. j^yy '^y*— « i^yy -yy<y. Lutibn, or Lmibar. j 

2. -Hh '-]]<] ^Jir^y. Milidduris. 

3. ^yy -E- ::yyy:: ^e s?^ ^yy. ishpuinish. 

4. y- -/- ::yyy^ y; v. Minnas. 

5. <-yy<y ^y -+ < ^^ i , ,. ^. 

(or <-yy<y -yy^ :::^yy -+< ^b v) j"^'^'''^ 

6. ^4- ^yy<y rry -yy<y v^. Miiidduns, 

• This inscription was copied, with a strong telcsco|)C, by Schulz, and is pub- 
lishetl with the rest of his transcripts. 

t Schulz haK given the measurement^ and a detailed account of each caTcm, 
in hi^ Memoirs. 

I The above arc Dr. Ilincks's Tcrsion of the reading of the names. Ha 
entertains tome doubt as to the correctness of the second and sixth, the first 
part of which is the name of a goddess, perhaps the Mylitta of Herodotus 
though in the Babjionian inscriptions it seems to be written ^ Gula.** It st 
be observed that they arc sometimes written with orthographical variatii 

D D 


It 18 yet doubtful to what family of languages the Wan inscrip- 
tions must be assigned. Some believe it to be a Tatar dialect ; 
or, at leasts to be largely intermixed with the Mongolian element. 
Dr. Hincks, on the contrary, is of opinion that it is Indo-Germanicj 
and adduces, in proof, various instances of case-endings correspond- 
ing with the Sanscrit.* Two of the inscriptions, and the earliest 
in date, as I have already observed, are in pure Assyrian. 

With regard to the date of the monuments there appears to be 
a clue which may enable us to fix it with some degree of certainty 
In an inscription from Khorsabadf, amongst the kings conquerec 
by Sargon one is mentioned whose name corresponds with Ar 
ghistis, the fifth in the Wan dynasty. Supposing the two, therefore 
to be the same, and there is no reason to doubt their being so, w( 
may assume that the monarchs of the Wan records reigned fron 
about the middle of the eighth century before Christ to the end o; 
the seventh; and the evidence aflforded by the forms of the character 
leads to this conjecture. It is possible that between the death o: 
the obelisk king and the reign of Sargon, the Assyrian monarch^ 
were unable to enforce their authority beyond the lofty rang< 
of mountains to the north-east of Nineveh, and that a dynasty 
which may indeed have been a branch from that of Assyria J, es 
tablished itself during that period in Armenia, and maintained it 
independence until a great conqueror again sat on the throne o: 
Nineveh. It is to be remarked that Dr. Hincks believes he hai 
even found an invasion of Babylonia recorded in these Armeniai 
inscriptions. If such be the case, it must be inferred that the t-er 

the inscriptions, and that those in the above list are, according to Dr. IIlncks*i 
view, in the nominative case. 

* On the inscriptions of Wan. Page 14., Journal of the Royal Aaiati^ 

t Botta,pl. 151. 1.5. 

t Since the above was written Col. Rawlinson has announced three synchro 
nisms between the inscriptions of Nineveh and Wan. " Lutipari is found con 
tending with Sardanapalus (the builder of the north-west palace at Nimroud) 
his son Semiduri is attacked by Dcleboras (the obelisk king) ; and the fifth Wai 
monarch, Arghisti, is an antagonist of Sargon." Dr. Hincks, however, denie 
the second identification, and entertains considerable doubt, therefore, as to th< 
first. (Literary Gazette, Dec. 18. 1852, p. 931.) It is a curious fact tha 
the earliest inscriptions found at Wan should be in Assyrian, whilst the other 
are in an essentially distinct language. Connected with the Armenian tradition 
that the two sons of Sennacherib, after they had slain their father, fled int< 
Armenia, and established royal dynasties, which reigned over that country witl 
northern Mesopotamia (St Martin, vol. i. p. 163.), it might have led to the con 
jecture that the inscriptions were of a more recent period, and of the time be 
tween the fall of the Assyrian empire and the rise of the Persian. 


ritories of the Assyrians were at that time confined within very 
narrow limits round their capital city. 

In the Khorsabad inscription Arghistis is called king of 

<" IhT <MT<r <T* 

War-ar-di, apparently the genitive case of War-ar-ad, a name that 
may be identified with the biblical Ararath, the kingdom of Arme- 
nia.* But at Wan we have two different names for this country. 
In the oldest inscriptions (those in the Assyrian language) it is 
called Nahiri, a name which, as I have already mentioned, was 
applied by the Assyrians to the very northernmost part of Meso- 
potamia, if it can be called Mesopotamia at all, between the head- 
waters of the Tigris and Euphrates. la the others it is termed 

a name not yet identified, but perhaps not unconnected with the 
mountainous province of Adiabene, to the north of Assyria.! 

At sunrise, on the 8th August, the roaring of cannon, re-echoed 
by the lofty rock, announced the end of Ramazan, and the 
beginning of the periodical festivities of the Bairam. Early in the 
morning the Pasha, glittering with gold and jewels, and surrounded 
by the members of his household, the officers of the garrison, and 
the gaily -dressed chiefs of the irregular troops, rode in proces- 
sion through the streets of the town. As it is customary, he 
rcceiveil in the palace the visits of the cadi, mollahs, and principal 
Musisulman inhabitants of Wan, as well as of the bishop, clergy, 
and elders of the Annenian church. The population, rejoicing at 
their release from a fast almost intolerable in summer, de<^ed 
themselves in holiday garments, and made merry in the houses 
and highways. The sounds of music and revelry issued from the 
coffee-houses and places of public resort. The children repaired 
to swings, merry-go-rounds, and stalls of sweetmeats, which had 
been raised in the open spaces within the walk. The Christians 
add the feast to their own festivals, already too numerous^, and, 

• DTJIC 2 Kinjrs xix. 37, &c. 

t llie country is aIm thus called in tLe inicription at Palou (Brit Mus. 
Series, p 74. I. 20.), and in that near Malatijah. 

{ The Mussulmans have onljr two great annual fea«t« in which labor givet way 
to n^^joicings and festivities ; the Christians of all secU have little else but faaU 
ami festivals throughout the jcar. A lazj Christian will add to hb own boU* 
f la js the Friday of the Mohammedant, and the Saturday of the Jews. 



like their Mussulman neighbours^ pay vbits of compliment and 
ceremony. Their women^ who are said to be handsome, but are 
even more rigidly concealed than the Mahommedan ladies, crept 
through the streets in their long white veils, 

I called in the evening on the bishop, and next morning, at his 
invitation, visited the principal schools. Five have been established 
since the fall of the Kurdish Beys, and the enjoyment of com- 
parative protection by the Christian population. Only one had 
been opened within the walls; the rest were in the gardens, 
which are thickly inhabited by Armenians, and form extensive 
suburbs to Wan. The school in the town was held in a spa- 
cious building newly erected, and at that time scarcely finished. 
More than two hundred children of all ages were assembled. They 
went through their exercises and devotions at the sound of a bell 
with great order and precision, alternately standing and squatting 
on their hams on small cushions placed in rows across the hall. 
An outer room held basins and towels for washing, and the cloaks 
and shoes taken off on entering. Books were scarce. There were 
not more than a score in the whole school. The first class, which 
had made some progress, had a few elementary works on astronomy 
and history, published by the Armenian press at Constantinople 
and Smyrna, but only one copy of each. The boys, at my request, 
sang and chanted their prayers, and repeated their simple lessons. 

Such schools, imperfect though they be, are proofs of a great and 
increasing improvement in the Christian communities of Turkev.* 
A change of considerable importance, and which, it is to be hoped, 
may lead to the most beneficial results, is now taking place in the 
Armenian Church. It is undoubtedly to be attributed to the judi- 
cious, earnest, and zealous exertions of the American missionaries ; 
their establishments, scattered over nearly the whole Turkish 
empire, have awakened amongst the Christians, and principally 
amongst the Armenians, a spirit of inquiry and a desire for the 
reform of abuses, and for the cultivation of their minds, which 
must ultimately tend to raise their political, as well as their 
social, position in the human scale. It is scarcely fifteen years 
since the first institution for Christian instruction on Protestant 

♦ The desire of a large number of the Armenians to improve their institu- 
tions, and to adopt the manners of Europe, is a highly interesting, and indeed 
important, fact. I was amused, after having contributed a trifle to the funds of 
the school, at having presented to me a neatly printed and ornamented receipt, 
with the amount of my donation duly filled up in the blank space left for the 
purpose, the document being signed by the head of the school. 


(independent) principles was opened by those excellent men in 
Constantinople. By a wise selection of youths from different 
parts of the empire, who from their character and abilities were 
deemed worthy of the choice, they were shortly enabled to send 
into the provinces those who could sow the seeds of truth 
and knowledge, without incurring the suspicions attaching to 
strangers, and without laboring under that ignorance of the 
manners and languages of those amongst whom they mix, which 
must always prove so serious an obstacle to foreigners in their 
intercourse with the natives. A movement of this nature could 
scarcely escape persecution. The Armenian clergy, not unfavor- 
able to the darkness and bigotry which had for centuries disgraced 
their Church, and exercising an uncontrolled power over an 
ignorant and simple people, soon raised a cry against the " Evan- 
gelists," as they were contemptuously called. By such misrepre- 
sentations and calumnies as are always ready at hand to the enemies 
of progress and reform, they were able to enlist in their favor the 
Turkish authorities at the capital and in the provinces. Unfor- 
tunately, four sects alone, the Roman Catholic, the Annenian, the 
Greek, and the Copt, were recognised by the Porte amongst their 
Christian subjects. The reformed Armenian Church was con* 
scqucntly without an acknowledged head, and unable, to com- 
municate directly with the government, to make known its 
tenets, or to complain of the acts of injustice and persecution to 
which it was exposed. Many persons fell victims to their 
opinions. Some were cruelly tortured in tlie house of the Patri- 
arch himself, and others were imprisoned or utterly ruined in 
Constantinople and the provinces. Sir Stratford Canning at 
length eq^erted his powerful influence to protect the injured sect 
from these wanton cruelties. Through his exertions and those 
of Lord Cowley, when minister, a firman was obtained from 
the Sultan, placing the new Protestant community on the same 
footing as the other Churches of the empire, assigning to it a 
head, or agent, through whom it could apply directly to the 
ministers, and extending to it other privileges enjoyed by the 
Konian Catliolics and Greeks. This act of toleration and justice lias 
given fresli vigor to the spirit of inquiry bred by the American mis- 
sionaries. There is now scarcely a town of any importance in 
Turkey witliout a Protestant community, and in most of the prin- 
ci|nil cities the Anierican mission has o|)ened schools, and is cdu 
ting youths for the priesthood. Fortunately for the cause, 
men of irrepnMichable character and of undoubtecl sincerity fro 

D D 3 


Armenian nation have been associated with it, and its success h 
not been endangered, like that of so many other movements of tl 
same kind, by interested, or hasty conversions. Those who ha^ 
watched the effect that this desire for improvement and for rel 
glous freedom is gradually producing upon a large and importai 
section of the Christian population of Turkey, may reasonabi 
hope that the time is not far distant when it may exercise 
marked influence upon other Christian sects, as well as upon tho 
who surround them ; preparing them for the enjoyment of extend 
political privileges, and for the restoration of a pure and ration 
faith to the East. 

The influence of this spirit of inquiry, fostered by the Americ 
missions, has not been alone confined to those who have been c 
off from their own community. The Armenian clergy, no long 
able to coerce their flocks, or to persecute those who lefl thei 
have found that the only mode of checking the schism is to i 
form the abuses of their own Church, and to educate and instm 
their people. Schools in opposition to the American establis 
ments have been opened in the capital and in most of the lar; 
towns of Asia Minor; and elementary and theological worl 
of a far more liberal character tlian any hitherto published 
Turkey, have been printed by Armenian printing-presses in Co 
stantinople and Smyrna, or introduced into the country frc 
Venice. This is another, though an indirect, result of their laboi 
which the American missionaries may justly contemplate with sat 
faction, unminglcd with any feelings of jealousy or ill-will. 

Whilst on this subject, and connected as I have been with t 
Nestorians, I must not omit a tribute of praise to the admiral 
establishments of the American missions amongst the Chajda^ans 
Ooroomiyah in Persia, under the able direction of the Rev. A: 
Perkins.* It was with much regret that I was compelled to gi 

• I cannot refrain from recording the names of the Rev. ^Messrs. Godd 
Dwight, Holmes, Hamlin, and Schauffler, of the Constantinople missionf 
station ; the late excellent and enterprising Dr. Smith, who, like the estiina 
Dr. Grant, his fellow-laborer in the same field, and many otliers of his count; 
men, has recently fallen a victim to his zejl and devotion ; the Rev. Eli Smith 
Beyrout, and Perkins of Ooroomiyah ; men who will ever be connected with 
first spread of knowledge and truth amongst the Christians of the East, and 
whom their country may justly be proud. Personally I must express my grt 
tude to them for many acts of kindness and friendship. The American missi 
has now establishments in Smyrna, Brousa, Trebizond, Erzeroom, Diarbel 
Mosul, Aintab, Aleppo, and many other cities in Asia Minor, together w 
native agents all over Turkey. 


up the plan I had formed of visiting that small colony from the New 
World. The Rev. Mr. Bowen^ who crossed the frontiers from Wan, 
has in a true Christian spirit borne witness in the English Church 
to the enlightened and liberal spirit in which their labors are carried 
on. Forty or fifty schools have been opened in the town of 
Ooroomiyah and surrounding villages. The abuses that have crept 
into this primitive and highly interesting Church are being re- 
formed, and the ignorance of its simple clergy gradually dispelled. 
A printing-press, for which type has been purposely cut, now pub- 
lishes for general circulation the Scriptures and works of educa- 
tion in the dialect and character peculiar to the mountain tribes. 
The English language has been planted in the heart of Asia, and 
the benefits of knowledge are extended to a race which, a few years 
ago, was almost unknown even by name to Europe. 

The Armenian bishop of Wan was not wanting in intelligence 
and in liberal feeling; but, like most of his order, he was pro* 
foundly ignorant. He had not seen the valuable works in his native 
language, even those of the fathers of his Church, published by 
the Mechitarists of Venice ; and was equally surprised and gratified 
with printed copies of the works of Moses of Chorenc, Eusebius, 
and one or two other authors in Armenian which I had with me. 
The convents of Wan and of the neighbourhood, he said, were once 
rich in ancient manuscripts, but they had been carried away by 
c:inicl-1oadd some two hundred years before by the Persians, and 
were believed still to be preserved in Isfahan. With the excep- 
tion of a few printed copies of the Scriptures, and some religious 
works for the use of the churches, there are now no books in the 
city. He received with pleasure from Mr. Bowen a copy of the 
New Testament in the vulgar Armenian tongue, remarking that 
it would l>e a great advantage to the common |)eople to have a 
version of the Scriptures in a language which they could under- 
stand. He was prolmbly not aware that the head of his church had 
utterly condemned its use, and had anathematised all those who re- 
ceived it. 

My comiianions had been com|)elled, from ill health, to leave the 
plain, and had taken refuge in the convent of Yedi Klissia, from 
the sultry heati4 of the plain. Ikfore joining them I visited the 
village of Amikh, where, according to my Armenian guide, Nikoos, 
an inscription was engiave<l on the rocks. I left the city on 
the 10th of August. Wan stands at a short distance from the lake, 
and the few boats w*hich traffic along the shores anchor at a i 
Iskelli, or port, about a mile and a half from the gates. The gr 

p u 4 


[ part of this viUage is now under water, the lake having gradual!; 

risen during the last few years. The inhabitants pretend tha 

j this rising is caused by a periodical ebbing and flowing each con 

tinning for seven years, and that the waters will again fall to thei 
former level. It is certain, however, that, from some cause o 
other which I cannot explain, many villages on the borders of th 
lake are now partly submerged, and that there appears to have bee: 
for some years a gradual increase in the waters. 

Leaving the small port, and passing some pans in which a kind c 
alkaline deposit is collected from the water of the lake to be use 
as soap, we struck into a fine undulating corn country, abound 

: ing in Christian villages. The soil is well cultivated, though b; 

dint of much labor. Eight, or even ten, pairs of oxen are frc 
quently yoked to a plough, which differs from that seen in any othe 
part of Turkey; and having two wheels, one larger than the othei 
more resembles those in common use in England. The landscap 
was richly tinted by large plots of bright yellow thistles*, cul 
tivated for the oil expressed from the seeds, and used by the Ar 
menians during their numerous fasts. We reached at sunset 
deep bay hemmed in by gardens and orchards, and sheltered froc 
the wind by an amphitheatre of low rocky hills. I pitched m; 
tent about a mile from the village of Amikh, near a transparen 
spring, in a small glade shelving to the water's edge, and em 
bowered in white roses. 

Early next morning I sought the inscriptions which I had beei 
assured were graven on the rocks near an old castle, standing oi 
a bold projecting promontory above the lake. After climbing u] 
a dangerous precipice by the help of two or three poles, in whicl 
large nails had been inserted to afford a footing, I reached 
small natural cave in the rock. A few crosses and ancient Arme 
nian letters were rudely cut near its entrance. There was nothin< 
else, and I had to return as I best could, disappointed, as naany i 
traveller has been under similar circumstances before me. 

From Amikh I rode across the country in a direct line to th 
monastery of Yedi Klissia, whose gardens on the side of the loft^ 
mountain of Wurrak are visible from most parts of the plain, 
stopped for an hour at the church of Kormawor before ascend 
ing to the convent. An aged priest, with beard white as snow 
and wearing a melon-shaped cap, and long black robes, was th« 
guardian of the place. He led me into an arcade surroundim 

* Called in Turkish Khanjerek. 


the inner court of the building. Seeing that I was a Frank, he 
fancied at once that I was searching for inscriptions, and pointed 
to a circular stone, the base of a wooden column, which, he said, 
he had shown many years before to a traveller, meaning Schulz.* 
It bears three imperfect lines of cuneiform writing, part of an in- 
scription belonging to one of the Wan kings, whose name Dr. Hincks 
read Minuas. It appears to record the foundation of a temple. A 
second inscription on a black stone, and several fragments with 
the same royal name, are built into the walls.f 

I copied that which remained of the legends, the old priest 
hooking a pair of primitive spectacles on his nose, and watching my 
movements with anxious curiosity. He entreated me, with every 
term of endearment, to communicate the contents to him. Were 
they talismans for the discovery of riches, or words of promise to 
the Armenian nation? They recorded, I told him, the past 
glories of his race, and might be regarded as a promise that by 
education, integrity, and reform, these glories might be revived. 
This explanation was scarcely sufficiently definite to satisfy liim. 
However, in return for the interpretation, he offered me a frugal 
breakfast of cheese and sour milk. 

Eight hours' ride from Amikh brought me to the large Armenian 
convent of Ycdi Klissia, or the seven churches, built of substantial 
stone masonry, aad inclosing a spacious courtyard planted with 
trees. It has more tlie ap|>earance of a caravanserai than that of 
a place of religious retreat, and is beautifully situated near the 
mouth of a wooded ravine, halfway up a bold mountain, which ends 
in snowy |>eaks. Spread beneath it is a blue lake and a smiling 
plain, and the city, with its bold castellated rock, and its turreted 
walls half hid in gardens and orchards. 

The church, a sub.^tantial modern edifice, stands within the court- 
yanl. Its walls arc covered with pictures as primitive in design 
as in execution. There is a victorious St. George blowing out the 
brains of a formidable dragon with a bright brass blunderbus, and 
saints, attircil in the tnuHtionary garments of Europe, jKirforming 
extravagant miracles. The intelligence of the good priest at the 
head of the convent was pretty well on a par with his illustrated 
church history. He was a 8|)ecimen of the Armenian clergy of 
Asia Minor. As he describe<l each subject to me, he spoke of the 
Nestorians as heretics, because they were alluwetl, by tlie canons 

* The inscri|ition is publUhcnl in his collection, Na xxiii. 
t Sc'huls, No. xxiT. 




of their charch, to marry their mothers and grandmothers ; of the 
Protestants as freemaeons or athciste ; and of the great nations of 
Europe as the Portuguese, tlie Inglese, the Muscova, and the 
Abhosh (Abysstnians). 

I found two short cuociform inscriptions ; one on a stone amongst 
the ruins of the old church, the other built into the walls of the 
new." They also belong to Minnas, and merely contain the name 
and titles of the king. 

* N<M. xxTlii. and xx'uc. Schulz's Collection. Schuk glvn Ibree from thii 
coDveat, one of which niaj have been coTcrcd bj the ruina of the former church 
■ince his visit. 

<: HLAicn or akhtahas. - 


Sickness had overcome Ixitli Dr. Snndwith and Mr. Cooiter. A 
return to the Imming pl.iiiis of Assyria might have proved Tatnl, 
niid I mlviscd them to eeok, without further dt'lay, the cooler 
chinnte of Europe. Mr. Walpole, too, who had been long Buf- 
fering from fevtr, now dotcrinined upon quitting my jMirty and 
taking the direct rosid to Krzeroom. 

In the afternoon of llic 12lh August I left the gntea of the con- 
vent of Villi Klin^ia with Mr. llomiuzd HnKi<am. Once more I 
was nlimc with my fiiithful friend, and we trod together the wind- 
ing (lathway which led down the nKmntain side. We had l>oth 
hceii nufTering from fever, hut we flill lind ilrrnglh to meet \t» 


attacks, and to bear cheerfully, now unhindered, the difficulties 
and anxieties of our wandering life. 

We made a short journey of three and a half hours to the plea- 
sant village of Artamit or Adremit, and encamped beneath its 
fruit trees in a garden near the lake.* Our path on the following 
day led through a hilly district, sometimes edging a deep bay, 
then again winding over a rocky promontory. We crossed by a 
bridge the large stream which we had seen at Mahmoudiyah, and 
which here discharges itself into the lake. The feast of St George 
had been celebrated during the previous day at the church of 
Narek, and we passed, as we rode along, merry groups of Ar- 
menians returning from their pilgrimage. The women, seated 
with their children on the backs of mules and asses, and no lonsrer 
fearing the glances of haughty Kurds, had lifted their veils from 
their ruddy faces. They were dressed in scfirlet cloaks, which 
half concealed their festive robes. To their platted hair was 
attached a square black pad of silk hung with tassels, and some- 
times with coins. Most of the men carried umbrellas to pro- 
tect themselves from the rays of the sun. In the midst of them 
we met, surrounded by a crowd of adherents, the Patriarch of 
Akhtamar, once the head of the Armenian Church, but now only 
recognised by a small section of Christians living in the province 
of Wan. He rode a mule, and was dressed in long black robes, 
with a silken cowl hanging over his head. Several youthful 
priests, some carrying silver-headed wands, followed close behind 
him. He was on his way to the city, and I thus lost the oppor- 
tunity of seeing him at his residence on the sacred island. 

On the shores of the lake we found many encampments of 
gipsies ; the men to be distinguished by their swarthy countenances, 
the women and children by their taste for begging. 

We passed through Vastan ; in the eleventh century the residence 
of the royal Armenian family of Ardzrouni, but now a mere village. 
The convent boat was on the beach, three miles above the usual 
landing-place. Four sturdy monks were about to row it back to 
the island. As they offered to take me with them, I left the aara- 
van to journey onwards to our night's encamping place, and with 
Mr. Rassam and the Bairakdar, we were soon gliding over the calm 
surface of the lake. Not a breeze rippled the blue expanse. The 
burning rays of the sun were still full upon us, and the pant- 

♦ There are two cuneiform inscriptions near the village, which are included in 
Schulz*s collection. 


ing boatmen were nearly two hours before they reached the 

In the absence of the Patriarch we were received by an 
intelligent and courteous monk named Kirikor. His hair, as well 
as his beard, had never known the scissors, and fell in long 
luxuriant curls over his shoulders. It was of jetty black, for he 
was still a young man, although he had already passed twenty 
years of a monastic life. He led us through an arched doorway 
into the spacious courtyard of the convent, and thence into an 
upper room furnished with comfortable divans for the reception 
of guests. Tea was brought to us after the Persian fashion, and 
afterwards a more substantial breakfast, in which the dried fish 
of the lake formed the principal dish. Kirikor had visited Jeru- 
salem and Constantinople, had read many of the works issued 
by the Venetian press, and was a man of superior acquirements 
for an Armenian monk of the orthodox faith. 

The church, which is within the convent walls, is built of the 
sandstone of a rich deep red color that has been quarried for the 
turbehs of Akhlat Like other religious edifices of the same 
period and of the same nation, it is in the form of a cross, with 
a small hexagonal tower, ending in a conical roof, rising above the 
centre. The first monastery was founded by a Prince Theodore in 
A.D. 653 : and the church is attributed to the Armenian king Kak- 
hik, of the family of Ardzrouni, who reigned in the tenth century ; 
but the island appears from a very remote date to have con* 
tained a castle of the Armenian kings. The entrance and vesti- 
bule of the church are of a different style from the rest of the 
building, being a bad imitation of modem Italian architecture. 
They were added about one hundred years ago by a patriarch, 
whose tomb is in the courtyard. The interior is simple. A few 
rude pictures of saints and miracles adorn the walls, and a gilded 
throne for the Patriarch stands near the altar. The exterior, how- 
ever, is elaborately ornamented with friezes and broad bands of 
sculptured figures and scroll work, the upper part being almost 
covered with bas-reliefi«, giving to the whole building a very 
striking and original appearance. The conical roof of the tower, 
rising over the centre of the cross, rests upon a frieze of hares, 
foxes, and other animals. Above arched windows are bands of 
rich foliage, and beneath them, at the base of the tower, a row 
of small vaulted recesses. The roof of the transept is supported 
by human heads. Beneath is a frieze, Assyrian in its charac- 
ter, and resembling the embossed designs on some of tJhft Vyc^xaj^ 


dishes described in a previous Chapter.* It consists of lions 
springing upon stags, and figures of wild goats, hares, and deer. 
Under the projecting roof of the aisle is a frieze, formed of 
bunches of grapes mingled with grotesque forms of men, animals, 
and birds. Next is a row of the heads of similar figures, pro- 
jecting in high relief from the wall They are succeeded by baa- 
reliefs representing Scripture stories from the Old and New Tes- 
taments, divided into separate subjects by medallions with images 
of Armenian saints. An elaborate border of scroll work completes 
the exterior decoration about half way up the building. The 
human form is rudely portrayed in these sculptures ; but the general 
design is far from inelegant, and the ornaments rich and appro- 
priate. I know of no similar specimen of Armenian architecture, 
and I regret that time would not allow me to make detailed draw- 
ings of the edifice.t 

In a grave-yard outside the church are several most elaborately 
carved tombstones belonging to the early Armenian patriarchs. 
That of Zachariah, who died in the fourteenth century, and who 
was for one year patriarch at Echmiadsin and for nine years at 
Akhtaroar, is especially worthy of notice for the richness and 
elegance of its ornaments. 

In the portico is a circular black stone, like a millstone, with 
short cuneiform inscriptions on the two flat sides. They contain 
the name of the king who carved the great tablet of the Meher 
Kapousi near Wan, which Dr. Hincks reads Minuas. The inscrip- 
tions do not appear to record any events of importance.^ 

A library of manuscripts, said to have been once preserved in 
the convent, no longer exists. Kirikor assured me that many 
works of value had been removed some years ago to the capital 
by order of the Constantinopolitan Patriarch. 

The Patriarchate of Akhtamar, or Aghthamar, was founded in 
1113 by an archbishop of the island, who declared himself inde* 
pendent of the universal Patriarch, residing at Echmiadsin. Its 
jurisdiction does not extend far beyond the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Wan, and the ecclesiastic who fills the oflSce is generally 
even more ignorant than other dignitaries of the Armenian 

♦ Chapter VIH. 

f This building affords another clue to the origin of the early Mussulman 
architecture — Arab and Tatar — of which remains exist in manj parts of Asia 
Minor, and particularly at Akhlat. 

I Nos. XX. and xxi. in Schulz*8 collection. One inscription contains ten, and 
the other, nine short lines. 


Church. The present Patriarch, I was informed, obtained his no- 
mination by bribing the celebrated Kurdish chief, Khan Mahnioud, 
within whose territories his followers mainly reside. 

The convent and church are built on a small rocky island about 
five miles from the shore. On an adjacent islet are the ruined 
walls of a castle partly covered by the rising waters of the lake. 
Intercourse with the main land is carried on by the one crank boat 
which, whenever the weather permits, goes back>yards and for- 
wards daily for such provisions as are required by the inmates of 
the monastery. Khan Mahmoud took the place by collecting 
together the vessels belonging to Wan for the transport of his 

Late in the afternoon, accompanied by the monk Kirikor, I 
was rowed to the farm and gtirden belonging to the convent, near 
the village of Ashayansk. We had scarcely reached the land ere 
a violent storm of wind suddenly arose, and lashed the waters of 
the lake into high waves crowned with foam. The monks dragged 
the boat high on the beach to save it from being dashed to pieces. 
I was well satisfied not to liave encountered the gale, with which 
our frail bark could scarcely have struggled. It was, however, 
but one of those mountain squalls which sometimes sweep down 
the deep valleys, and expend their fury in a short hour. By 
sunset the air was again serene, and the face of the blue lake 
once more reflected, like a mirror, the snow-white gulls and black 
cormorants that floated on its surface. 

A few monks live on the farm, and tend the property of the 
convent, supplying the Patriarch with the produce of the dairy and 
orchards. They received us very hospitably. Kirikor rode with 
me on the following morning as far ns the large Armenian village 
of Narek, in which there is a church dedicated to St George, 
much frequented in pilgrimage by the Christians of Wan and the 
surrounding country. It was built by one Tateos Arakil, in the 
ninth century, according to the priest of the place ; but, according 
to Kirikor, by a certain Theodorus in the time of King Kakhik. 
It has probai)ly been added to and repaired at various periods, 
and there arc parts, such as the belfry, which arc modem, whilst 
others bear evident marks of antiquity. It is a strong solid build- 
ing, of the same red sandstone as the tombs of Akhlat. 

We had now lefi the lake of Wan, and our track led up a deep 
ravine, which gradually became more narrow as we drew nigh to the 
high mountains that separated us from the unexplored districts of 
Mukus and Bohtan. We passed a large Armenian vilUgc named 


Pagwantz, near which, on the summit of a precipitous rock, 
stands the ruined castle of Khan Mahmoud, the rebel chief. He 
was the eldest of seven brothers, all of whom governed under 
him different districts on the borders of the lake, and sorely op- 
pressed the Christian inhabitants. Five were captured and are in 

On both sides of the ravine were villages and ruined castles. 
Numerous streams from the hill-sides irrigated plots of cultivated 
ground. Ere long we entered a rocky barren tract, patched here 
and there with fragrant Alpine flowers. After climbing up 
a steep declivity of loose stones like the moraine of a Swiss 
glacier, and dragging our horses with much difficulty after us, we 
found ourselves amidst eternal snow, over which we toiled for 
nearly two hours, until we reached the crest of the mountiiin, 
and looked down into the deep valley of Mukus. This is con- 
sidered one of the highest passes in Kurdistan, and one of the 
most difficult for beasts of burden. The flocks of the nomade 
Kurds of Bohtan were feeding in the gullies, cropping the sweet and 
tender herbs nourished by the snow. The descent was even more 
rapid and precipitous than the ascent, and we could scarcely pre- 
vent our weary horses from rolling down into the ravine with the 
stones which we put into motion at every step. At the foot of 
the pass is a small Armenian church called Khorous Klissia, or 
** the church of the cock," because a black cock is said to warn 
the traveller when the snowdrifts hide the mountain tracks. 

There was no other pathway down the rocky ravine than the dry 
bed of the torrent As we approached the widening valley the springs 
began to collect together and to form a considerable stream, through 
which we had to wade as we best could. A track, occasionally followed 
by the solitary foot- traveller, and by the shepherds in their periodi- 
cal migrations to the uplands, had been carried here and there over 
the foaming water by trunks of trees. But these simple bridges 
had been washed away during a recent storm. Leaving the laden 
horses to find their way over the stones and through the torrent, I 
rode onwards with Hormuzd. We passed soon after a deep natural 
cavern, from which burst, white with foam and struggling through 
a bed of pink flowers, a most abundant spring. This was one of 
the principal sources of the eastern branch of the Tigris, here called 
the river of Mukus, which, according to an Armenian tradition, 
only issued from the rock for about five hundred years ago. 

A ride of eight hours brought us to the large scattered village 
of Mukus, the principal place of the district of the same name. 


We were met, as we drew near, by the Mudir or governor, an 
active bustling Turk, who had already chosen, with the usual 
taste of an Eastern, the prettiest spot, a lawn on the banks of 
the river, for our tents, and had collected provisions for ourselves 
and our horses. The good Pasha of Wan had sent to the dif- 
ferent chiefs on our way, and had ordered preparations to be 
everywhere made for our reception. The Tigris is here a deep 
stream, and is crossed by a stone bridge. The houses are built 
without order, on the slopes of the mountain, each family choosing 
some open place more free from stones than the usual rocky de- 
clivities to cultivate a small plot of ground. There is no room for 
them in the narrow valley. The place may contain altogether 
about two thousand inhabitants. 

The district of Mukus, anciently Mogkh, and one of the pro- 
vinces of the Armenian kingdom, had only lately been brought 
under the authority of the Sultan.* Like the rest of this part of 
Kurdistan, it had long maintained its independence under here^ 
ditary chiefs, the last of whom, Abdal Bey, after several times 
defeating the Turkish troops sent against him, was at length 
captured as he was flying into Persia. Of its sixty villages 
forty are inhabited by Christian Armenians. The revenues 
amounted the year of my visit to little more than 100,000 
piastres (about 910/.), of which the village of Mukus contri- 
buted 42,000. The garrison consisted of only forty regular 
soldiers and forty Albanians, so completely had the seizure of 
their chiefs discouraged the wild Kurdish tribes who dwell in 
the mountains, and were formerly in open rebellion against the 
Purtc. This nomade race forms the principal part of the Mus- 
sulman population, and is the most fierce and independent in 
Kurdistan. Mukus was anciently celebrated for its mines. None 
are now worked, and even the site of the greater part of them 
is unknown. The Pasha of Wan had sent miners from Arghana 
to examine those of silver and copper, but their report being 
unfavoniblc, no further attempt was made to explore them. The 
Armenians of Mukus weave the striped woollen stuffs, some of rich 

* The ancient Armenian province of Mogkh was bounded on the south by a 
part of Asitjria called by the Artuenians AroTudan. It wwi governed by Ar- 
menian princes, who«e <leflcendant8 still reij^ed there in the tenth century. 
(St. Martin, i. 175., who by miiitake places Mukus on the Khabour.) Animianui 
Blarcc'llinuii mentions the district under the name of Moxoene. According 
to a tradition, the mountains to the south of the lake of Wan were the original 
•eat uf the Armenian race. (St. Martin, i. 206.) 

£ E 


color and fine texture, worn by the Kurds, and export a little honey 
and wax, but have no other trade. The border districta are Karkar 
(containing about eighteen villages), Khiawash, Isparut, Bidar, and 

The Mudir showed the greatest anxiety for our welfare during 
the night, continually visiting our tents to see that the Albanians 
he had placed as guards over our property did not sleep, as the 
village swarmed with Bohtan thieves. 

The principal Armenians of Mukus with their priests spent 
a morning with me. They knew of no ruins or inscriptions in 
the district, and I found them even more ignorant than their 
fellow-countrymen of the districts around Wan, whose stupidity 
has passed into a Turkish proverb. Long subjection to the Kurds 
and a constant intercourse with Mussulmans, have led them to 
adopt their manners and dress; their religion at the same time 
consists of mere outward profession, and the punctual perform- 
ance of a few ceremonies and fasts. 

We left Mukus early in the afternoon, accompanied by the 
Mudir. The path following the course of the river, leads to Sert 
Jezireh and the Assyrian plains. We soon turned from it, and 
entered a valley running eastwards. On the mountain-sides 
were many villages, buried, like those of Tiyari, in orchards 
and groves of walnuts. We forced our way through thickets 
and through matted climbing plants hanging from the branches 
of trees, the track being continually lost in rivulets or in water- 
courses for irrigation. The valley soon narrowed into a wild 
gorge. High above us in a cave in the rock was an ancient Chris- 
tian chapel, which I visited, but without finding anything of in- 
terest in it. The ravine ended at length in the gardens of Aurenj. 
We chose amongst them a sheltered nook for our night*s resting- 

Next day we crossed a high mountain ridge covered in some 
places with snow, separating the district of Mukus from that of 
Shnttak. Its northern and western slopes are the summer pas- 
tures of the Miran Kurds, whose flocks were still feeding on the 

« The principal villages in the Mukus district are Aughin, Nouravos, Easr, 
Achichos, Kerkichos, Aurenj, Kotzabiloor, Auveriss, Parangos, Mangoneb, 
Komos, Ketchoks, Amaghus, Marakos, and Berwar. Of the nine districts into 
which, according to the Armenian writers, the province of Mogkh was divided, 
I could recognise no name in the modern villages and vallejs. From Mukus 
to Jezireh there are five caravan dajs' journeys, and to Sert three, by difficult 
mountain roads. 


green lawns and in the flowery glens. On the opposite side of 
the pass we found an encampment of Hartushi Kurds, under 
one Omar Agha, a noble old chieftain, who welcomed us with un- 
bounded hospitality, and set before me every luxury that he pos- 
sessed. I could scarcely resist his entreaties that we should pass 
the night under his tent. I had honored it, he declared, by enter* 
ing into it. All that it contained, his children^ his wives, and 
his flocks, were, upon his head, no longer his but my property. 
I had no wish to profit by his generosity, and at length we parted. 
Resuming our journey we descended by a precipitous pathway 
into a deep valley. A broad stream, another arm of the eastern 
Tigris, wound through it ; its glittering waters had been just visible 
amidst the gardens of Shattak, from the mountain- top. 

Here again the Mudir had been apprised of our coming, and was 
ready to receive us. He had collected provisions for ourselves 
and horses in an open space on the river bank. Shattnk is a 
small town, rather than a village. It is chiefly inhabited by 
Armenians, an industrious and hardy race, cultivating the sides 
of the mountains, on which are built their villages, and weaving 
in considerable quantities the gay -colored woollen stuffs so much 
esteemed by the Kurds. In nearly every house was a loom, and 
the rattle of the shuttle came from almost every door. The large 
and flourishing Armenian communities inhabiting the valleys 
between lake Wan and the district of Jezireh, appear to be 
unknown to modern geographers, and arc unnoticed in our best 
mafis. The difliculties and dangers of the road have hitherto 
deterred travellers from entering their mountains. The existence 
of this people in the very heart of Kurdistan might, if taken ad- 
van tnge of by the Porte, be the means of establishing an impor- 
tant trade, and of quieting and civilising a country but recently 
brought under its rule. The mountains produce galls, wool 
(some of which has the same silky texture as that of Angora), 
the small under-wool of the goat called teftik (a valuable article 
of ex|>ort), and minerals. In the bazar at Shattak I saw a 
few English prints, and other European wares brought for sale 
from Wan. 

The priests and principal Armenians of the place came to me 
soon after my arrival, and I learnt from them that efforts had 
already been made to improve the condition of the Christian com* 
munity, now that the oppressive rule of the Kurdish hereditary 
chiefs had been succeeded by the more tolerant government of the 

KB 3 


Sultan, A school had been opened, chiefly by the help of Sheran, 
the active and liberal Armenian banker of Wan. 

The town itself is called by the Armenians Tank, by the Kurds 
Shokh^ and when spoken of together with the numerous villages 
that surround it^ Shattak. It stands near the junction of two 
considerable streams, forming one of the head- waters of the eastern 
Tigris, and uniting with the Bohtan-Su. The largest comes from 
the district of Albagh. These streams, as well as that of Mukus, 
abound in trout of the most delicious flavor. The entire district 
contains fifty villages and numerous mezras or hamlets. The 
revenues are about the same as those of Mukus. A few Mus- 
sulmans live on the right bank of the stream opposite Shokh, 
round the ruins of an old castle, medresseh (college), and mosque, 
all apparently at one time handsome and well-built edifices. 
They prove that the place was once a flourishing Mohammedan 
town. The castle belonged to Nur-UUah Bey, from whom it 
wafl taken by Beder Khan Bey, who gave it to Omar Agha, a 
chief of the Ilartushi Kurds^ the last independent lord of the 

We left Shokh on the 17 th August by a bridge crossing the 
principal stream. The Mudir rode with us up a steep moun- 
tain, rising on the very outskirts of the town. After a long and 
difficult ascent we came to a broad green platform called Tagu, 
the pastures of the people of Shattak, and now covered with 
their tents and flocks. This high ground overlooked the deep 
valleys, through which wound the two streams, and on whose sides 
were many smiling gardens and villages. We stopped at an 
encampment of Miran Kurds, a large and wealthy tribe, pas- 
turing their flocks far and wide over the mountains and ravines of 
Shattak and Nourdooz. Their chief had died five days before. 
We had passed on the road his son, a boy covered with em- 
broidery and gold, and surrounded by armed servants. He was 
on his way to Wan to receive a cloak of investiture from the 
Pasha, who had recognised him as lord of the clan. 

Crossing a high mountain pass, on which snow still lingered, 
we descended into a deep valley like that of Shattak, chiefly cul- 
tivated by Armenians. We crossed a small stream, and ascended 
on the opposite side to Ashkaun, whose inhabitants were outside 
the village, near a clear spring, washing and shearing their sheep. 
We had now entered Nourdooz, a district under a Mudir ap- 
pointed by the Pasha of Wan, and living at a large village called 


Our ride on the following day was over upland pastures of great 
richness, and through narrow valleys watered by numerous streams. 
Here and there were villages inhabited by Kurds and Armenians. 
We were now approaching the Nestorian districts. The first man 
of the tribe we met was an aged buffalo-keeper, who, in answer to 
a question in Kurdish, spoke to me in the Chaldee dialect of the 
mountains. Hormuzd and my servants rejoiced at the prospect 
of leaving